WAYNE GRETZKY ESTATES NO. 99 CABERNET/MERLOT 2007

I am always leery of these celebrities that lend their names to wines. Wayne Gretzky however is a gentleman and in my opinion one of the last hockey greats that played the game because they loved it. I remember watching Wayne play when I was a kid (and so was he). Even then people knew they were watching an exceptional player and individual. At the Food and Wine show I had a chance to talk to a booth person about Gretzky wines and I was enlightened. These wines are dedicated to supporting the Wayne Gretzky foundation with all profits going there. A charity that brings hockey to underprivileged kids. Yet another example of Wayne being a gentleman and giving back to the country that made him who he is. I only wish at some point he had played for the leafs. I do digress …

So I had a chance to try this wine. It is quite dark in color with lots of dark fruits on the nose. On the mid pallet are some dark fruits with some tannins and typical Niagara terroir. This is more of a fruit forward wine. They have managed to keep the Niagara tannins under control on this one. The alcohol and oak are prevalent but not overwhelming. Overall this is not a bad wine 87-88 or so. The fruit for this wine comes from 12 different vineyards from all over Niagara I was told.

From the LCBO web site:
WAYNE GRETZKY ESTATES NO. 99 CABERNET/MERLOT 2007 VINTAGES 128652 | 750 mL bottle Price: $ 18.95
Wine, Red Wine, 13.0% Alcohol/Vol. Sugar Content : D This is a VQA wine
Made in: Ontario, Canada By: No. 99 Wayne Gretzky Estates

Release Date: Aug 29, 2009

Tasting Note
Made by Rob Power and Craig McDonald of Creekside, this Cabernet/Merlot shows why they were named Winemakers of the Year at the 2008 Ontario Wine Awards. Deep ruby/purple colour leads the way to a pretty nose featuring cassis, blueberry, new leather, toasty oak and plum. Dry with lots of extract, fine tannic grip and good acid all coming together to make this wine special. Age it 2-4 years to shake its youth, or enjoy it tonight with a rare steak or lamb chops. (VINTAGES panel, June 2009)

What winecurrent.com had to say:
Wayne Gretzky Estates No. 99 Cabernet/Merlot 2007 VQA Niagara Peninsula
12.7% alcohol The Great One scores a winner here with aromas of dark toasty oak field berry fruit and mixed spice notes. Succulent flavours of black berry and juicy Bing cherry coat the palate in waves. Its deftly balanced the oak has been seamlessly integrated the finish lingers and the spine of moderating acidity is apparent throughout. Its also full of promise as the drying tannin is perceptible making this a candidate for optimum drinking 2012 to 2018. (Vic Harradine) (128652) $18.95 Rating 4/5

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