Château des Charmes 2007 Equuleus - 90+pts

Château des Charmes 2007 Equuleus (St. David's Bench) Niagara Peninsula - Ontario

Availability: Direct from winery here. LCBO Vintages
Cost: $40
Alcohol: 14%
Production: 1019 cases
Date Tasted: October , 2010

Tasting Notes: Tasting this wine blind you might write in your conclusion that it was a quality Super-Tuscan with high acid, tomato stalk characters and aromatic notes from a presumed Sangiovese-Cabernet Franc blend. Of course, you'd be wrong, as I was. It's a Meritage blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc and 25% Merlot, all grown on the winery's Paul Bosc Estate Vineyard in St. David's Bench. My embarrassment aside, this is not your typical New World, big and bold Meritage blend with massive tannins and fruit aromas and flavours spilling out of the glass. Fans of those wines would be better served elsewhere. This is a quirky and unique wine that is terroir-driven and subtly nuanced.

With 12 months in French barriques, the Equuleus is full of grainy oak aromas and flavours. The medium-intense nose does offer some nice dark berry notes, but they are mixed in with the savoury and aromatic characters of flowers, green coffee beans, vanilla, smoke and leather. The dry palate is easily characterized as "Old World" with earthy flavours, tomato stalk, bell pepper, dark berry and good minerality.

The Equuleus is only produced in vintages determined to be exceptional - the 2007 Niagara vintage is certainly that. The next Equuleus is reported to be from the 2010 vintage. The 2007 has the acids and tannins to hold-up against extended cellaring but is ready to enjoy now. Drink 2010-2015.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2010

See also:
Château des Charmes 2008 Chardonnay Musqué

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