The Quote/Background: Paul Speck, one of the owners along with his brothers, led the tasting. He gave us vintage notes and approaches year by year. As well, Ron Giesbrecht (the winemaker at Henry of Pelham) gave his impressions. Henry of Pelham started making BN as a wine in 1988. They began with a Reserve in 1995 (oak treatment is always 100% US oak, of which 60% is new; the wine rests in oak for up to 18 months for the Reserve; sometimes 8-15% of Merlot and/or Cabernet Franc will be added). Only 1500 cases are made (12,000 are made of the regular BN), and this wine comes from their oldest block.
The Upside: The BN wines were followed by Henry of Pelham Family Tree White 2009 (Viognier, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer and Chardonnay Musqué) a new entrant in the white blend field with spices and fruit tones at $17.95, 400 cases; Henry of Pelham Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2008, $18.95; and Henry of Pelham Family Tree Red 2009 (Merlot, Syrah, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc), also $17.95. Because he had our attention, Paul shifted to his wine importer hat and showed off some Spanish wines. Tony Batet, who represents Torres wines in Canada, did a vertical of Torres Mas La Plana Cabernet Sauvignon 1994, 1996, 1999, 2005 and 2007 (the latter due to arrive in Vintages in November). It was formerly known as Coronas Black Label. I pretty well liked them all, with the 1996 showing well and the 1994 showing least.
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