This was a very good wine, and it wasn't meant to be the backup, but a smashed bottle of Spanish dessert wine (see below) lead to a change of plans.
The 2001 Mas Amiel (Maury, 100% Grenache) tantalized with a meaty, leathery and almondy nose, blackberries omnipresent. Beautifully textured on the palate, with a tasty nuttiness and some dried fruit. It paired very well with some dark chocolate, and unlike a port the elevated alcohol level was barely noticeable.
cork. 16% alcohol
Price: C$19.20 (SAQ), 375ml
The 2004 Olivares Dulce Monastrell, a Mourvedre dessert wine from the Spanish region of Jumilla, was to be the star of the evening, but only two precious ounces were recovered from the accident scene. After running this precious liquid through a coffee filter I felt brave enough to taste - hot, minty, with syrupy red berries and black liquorice, a wall of powerful tannins hiding under that sweet fruit. While the Mas Amiel felt reserved, the Olivares was an impetous youth - more dessert than dessert wine, but worthy of a retaste after a few years in the cave.