Getting out of the house, but not getting away from my cellar, we decided on an early sitting at Toucheh, a local BYO resto known for great food at a reasonable price. To match the Iranian/Italian inspired fare I brought two Spanish reds, in keeping with my mini-vertical theme.
The 2000 Quinta Quietud comes from Toro, a Spanish appellation down river from Ribera del Duero. This wine, 100% tempranillo (Tino de Toro), was bright cherry red in the glass. Oaky and peppery on the nose at first - crisper fruit and more subtle - it later showed some plum, white cherries, rose, hay, mint and coffee. Very dry, with fresh acidity and supple tannins, it was a bit awkward and less balanced. Very enjoyable, but less complex than the 2001 below. Drink now.
cork. 14.3% alcohol
Price: $39.75 (SAQ)
The 2001 Quinta Quietud was a deep, dark cherry red (much darker than 2000) and very aromatic. Lots going on - spicy at first, supported by attractive violet, blackberry, strawberry, cherry, oak, earth, pepper, tea and smoke aromas. The spiciness continued on the palate. Very dry, with ripe berry fruit and ample oak, it had a nice backbone of firm tannin and fresh acidity. Elegant, harmonius, with a very long finish, this wine could use much more time in the cellar. My type of Spanish red - dry, spicy and beautifully textured. Great price.
cork. 14.5% alcohol
Price: $30.75 (SAQ)
For dessert I brought a Jurancon Sec, the 2005 Domaine Cauhape "Symphonie de Novembre". Golden yellow in the glass, the nose was all apples, quince, pears, cantaloupe and fig. Honey, green melon and apples on the palate, it had a nice bitterness and acidity on the finish. Rich, smooth, balanced, it was not too sweet, viscous, or fruity. Terrific.
cork. 14.5% alcohol
Price: $38.00 (SAQ)
I highly recommend Toucheh - the chef came to our table and explained the fine selection of 10 different entrees (incl. some vegetarian), and service was very attentive. But don't count on them to be wine nuts - the glassware was weak and there were no decanters (I brought my own) to be seen, but they did bring an ice bucket for the Cauhape. Not a problem, just prepare yourself.