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Magnotta Millenium Cabernet Sauvignon 1996

[ Monday, July 14, 2008 | Leave a Comment ]
[mm- matt] this whole series of blog posts are not necessarily related, but some of them randomly come together, like this one. AJ, this one is for you!

The last winery we visited in Niagara, in the Lincoln/Beamsville area was Magnotta. It's located less than a minute from the QEW exit and it's not really "green"/vineyard-like (think strip plaza/tavern/store look-a-like). More on the winery to come.

Let's rewind back to late 2006 - my friend from work, AJ, used to give out wine to business clients back in the day. He's not a drinker, per se, but he did extensive research and ended up buying cases of Magnotta Millenium Cabernet Sauvignon 1996. There was a time when he wasn't sure how the cases were stored and wasn't sure of the condition (I know, a problem a lot of us would like to have, just drink! :P).

He thought it would be a good idea to donate a bottle to the wine and cheese, but didn't want anyone to drink if it wasn't good. At the time, I was still pretty green (no pun intended) and while the wine didn't smell like vinegar, I couldn't really comment much on it. My sister, Ag, seemed to think it was fine and it went onto the cheese board course. Amongst all the guests, only Geoff commented on it (check out the post & comments here ) and really enjoyed it.

Fast forward, end of June 2008 - 100s of wines and many tastings later - AJ gave me another bottle for my 30th to "try out", amongst other bottles (thanks!). Geoff and I met up in my dining room, where most of the cheese, wine and yum action happens - used Spiegelau Grande Vino Bordeaux glasses (Spiegelau site: here).. more on glass to come later =)

Without decanting, we tried an initial ~3oz - visually, it was a little lighter than I expected and ruby coloured, with some legs on the glass. On the nose, classic cab sauv aromas - currant, blackberry. I'm glad that it was aromatic, with some vanilla and some smoky oak. On the first taste, it definitely had some fruit power, with some tannin and acid, although the finish was decidedly sour.

We gave the glass some time to breath and a more natural flavour started to come out. We decided to decant and used the Final Touch decanter and aerator, did a swirl for about 10-15 seconds and poured another 3oz. Definitely in the right space to drink and without the overt sour flavour.

My conclusion - definitely a good Cabernet Sauvignon, it could still live in the bottle probably another 5+ years. Thanks again AJ, good bottle =)

Here's Geoff's take:

When Matt first asked me to write a review of the Magnotta Millenium ’96, I was a bit
hesitant. That’s probably because my knowledge of wine doesn’t include fancy terms like
“bouquet” or “legs” or “tannins” or other such fruity phrases. And by fruity, I’m referring more to one’s taste in people and fashion than the taste of wine. Instead, my oenological knowledge (see, Google and Wikipedia makes everyone smart) is composed of such refined technical terms as *yak*, “that’s gross,” “mmmmmm,” “I like it,” “oh yeah,” “gimme more of that good stuff,” and “gimme gimme gimme!”

Now that the disclaimers are out of the way, let’s turn to the vino. I drank the first glass right after popping the cork, and immediately noticed the acidity. I guess some experienced wine lovers would call this a “young” wine. I’m not a big fan of acidity. At this point, I would’ve considered the Magnotta just OK. I suggested to Matt that we decant it and try it again.
The difference after decanting was significant. It was much smoother. The flavours were more
easily detected. I noticed several complex flavours including oak and vanilla or, in my lingo, it tasted of wood and sweet stuff. The aftertaste wasn’t overpowering, but lingered on just enough to remind me that it was still there, kinda like a girl who stalks you just enough to be flattering, but not enough to require a restraining order. So, at the end of the day, I would give it a rating of somewhere between “I like it” and “oh yeah!”

About the author: This author doesn’t know what he’s talking about and probably should be


  • Stanley said:  

    Just to let you know, I've linked you up in my blog. Hope you don't mind =)

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