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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

TRADE TASTING: Benjamin Bridge and Ravine Vineyard Estate wines, Sept. 26, 2008

The Time and Date: Friday, September 26, 2008  10:30 AM to 1 PM

The Event: Wine Writer's Circle of Canada tasting with Peter Gamble, initial winemaker for Nova Scotia's Benjamin Bridge and Niagara's Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery.

The Venue: LCBO Event Kitchen, Scrivener Square.

The Target Audience: wine writers

The Availability/Catalogue: the Ravines are being released now, the Benjamin Bridges will be along in a few months to a few years.

The Quote: "Peter Gamble seems to be a one-man road show for the Bridges, and now he is building over a Ravine".

The Wines: Peter provided us with a comprehensive commentary on all of the wines. 23 wines were shown. And certainly one could tell the 2007 wines from the rest, especially in the reds.


**** Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):

-Ravine Vineyard Estate Chardonnay 2007, $24

-Ravine Vineyard Estate Chardonnay Reserve 2007, $38

-Ravine Vineyard Estate Redcoat 2007 [cabernets, merlot], $19

-Ravine Vineyard Estate Cabernet Franc 2007, $32

-Ravine Vineyard Estate Merlot 2007, $34

-Ravine Vineyard Estate Merlot Reserve 2007, $55 (90%M/10%CS) – the finest red wine of the tasting, very Euro. Ravine also makes a Reserve Red (a super Bordeaux).

-Benjamin Bridge Brut Reserve Sparkling 2004 (57%PN/22%C/15%Vidal/6%L'Acadie), to be released in 2011. 225 cases. One of the finest MC sparklers ever made in Canada. We also tasted an Experimental Brut from 2003, a Chardonnay Blend from 2002, and a Blanc de Noirs from 2002. All were excellent, but all were not to be available.

-Benjamin Bridge Marechal Foch 2004, $25 in September 2009? From Anne Sperling's recipe.

-Benjamin Bridge Sauvignon Blanc 2005, was a pur laine style from the Loire. Not available, unfortunately.


***1/2 Three and a Half Stars (8890 in Quality/Price Rating terms):

-Ravine Vineyard Estate Gewurztraminer 2007, $22

-Ravine Vineyard Estate Meritage 2007, $24

-Ravine Vineyard Estate Cabernet Franc 2006, $34

-Benjamin Bridge Marechal Foch 2005, for Sept 2010 release.

-Benjamin Bridge Marechal Foch Reserve 2006, for Sept 2011 release.

-Benjamin Bridge Nova 7 2007 Sparkling Muscat [muscats, perle of csaba, et al], $23, a moscato d'asti type wine, now sold out at $23 in Nova Scotia.



The Food: only water.

The Downside: we were also skedded to taste some 38 Nova Scotia wines with Larry Patterson, but we ran out of time. That tasting will now occur in October.

The Upside: Peter Gamble is a very easy guy to question, no PR bluff here.

The Contact Person:

The Marketing Effectiveness (numerical grade): 95.



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