Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thirty Bench Red 2007

I grew up in southern Ontario with no idea that there was anything in Beamsville but a few cows. So imagine my surprise to discover that the area can also produce a pretty decent Bordeaux type blend. The nose is mostly blackberries, cedar, and wood smoke. These follow through on the palate, which is full and smooth and finishes with tannins that are firm but not obtrusive. We had it with squash gnocchi with tomato sauce and spicy Mexican beef stew, and it definitely paired much better with the gnocchi. Great value.

Price: $22.99
Value: 4/5
Score: 88
Alcohol: 13.4 %
Region: Canada
Grape: 55% Cabernet Franc; 40% Cabernet Sauvignon; 5% Merlot
UPC: 048162011724


  1. I'd agree with everything Kelly says, except that I found the wine to be a bit unstructured for my taste.

  2. This was actually on my "wish list" for the Expo. I think WA rated it an 89. Also I guess their reisling is suppose to be quite good also rated 89. Regardless there is some still available in Dieppe, Moncton and SJ.

  3. I found their riesling a little too dry and fruitless for my liking. Just not enough pleasure on the palate, though their rieslings have been critically acclaimed, I believe it is mostly for their single vineyard rieslings.
    I just can't imagine giving it anything close to 89.

  4. Found 07 less structured than past versions. Warmer growing season. Ontario really talking up 07 for reds. I like the edginess of past vintages despite the 07 getting so much critical praise. Basic riesling is great. Definitely not overt but minerally and clean. Try 06 Sandhill Syrah from same company. Stellar. Gobs of dark fruit.

  5. Mark, thanks for the comparison with other vintages. (We'll try the Riesling with sushi.) I didn't know that Thirty Bench and Sandhill are from the same company - I'm a fan of the Sandhill "small lots" series. I'll have to try the Syrah.

  6. Thirty Bench, Sandill, Calona Vineyards and Red Rooster are the premium wine labels of Andrew Peller Ltd. Run as separate wineries but thanks to their size they get them here at same price as sold at winery. Good deal for all us in Maritimes that want good Cdn wine for a reasonable price.

  7. Never had good luck with Ontario wines, I usually go further west to BC. Maybe I should re-think that.