Monday, May 14, 2018

Animal Crackers

 Under the weather? Just sip a Hare of the dog, courtesy of John Hare and his Niagara winery. His 2015 Crown Land Red is a Cabernet Franc-Merlot miracle worker. Fresh raspberries, crushed black peppercorns, fines herbs and a kiss of toasty new oak do the trick, $25.50. Quite Beaujolais-ish.

We're surrounded by the wild creatures in the wine world, as well as mythical beasties. Some new releases on offer include a sea shell, a crazy fish, a brown speckled bird and a dark horse. Or you could simply opt for Temperance.

The bird looks like a thrush bearing a grape on a bottle of Abbotts & Delaunay dry red from France's Deep South, Corbieres in the Languedoc, $18 for a silky smooth, slightly smoky 2015 blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre berries.

The Mad Fish is a 2017 vintage Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon of impeccable breeding from Western Australia, $17, lively, grassy and crisp with a citrus rind perkiness. It's like a white Bordeaux that just got the keys to its first car! 

Huron County's Dark Horse Estate Winery has made a lush Cabernet/Merlot dry red blend that's all black and blue fruit with earth and chocolate highlights, $22. Called One Horse Town Cabernet/Merlot 2015. It's a winner!

The sea shell is a gorgeous Nautilus Chardonnay from Marlborough, New Zealand, $28, with sumptuous pear and tangy melon, vanilla and lemon zest complexity knitted together with a smidge of toasty new oak. Delish. 

If Temperance is your choice, there's a 2018 red of that name from Westcott at Vinemount Ridge, Niagara, a deft blend of Pinot Noir and Gamay, the two classic grapes of Burgundy, rarely seen together, $20. Cherry-raspberry elegance.