Thursday, August 29, 2013

International Cabernet Day 2013

I know there are "international days" for almost everything nowadays. Talk Like a Pirate Day, International Cowboy Day, International Kiss Day and International Nachos Day are a few that pop up annually on my calendar. Most, however, are hardly worth celebrating. But, you know, as silly as it might seem to have an arbitrary day for international quaffing - after all, every day is a day for celebrating wine around our place - I'm often guilty of tossing my glass into the ring.

With that in mind, I can bite when it comes to International Cabernet Day. We have a decent number of Cabs hanging around in our "cellar" but we don't tend to drink them all that often. As much as Cab is probably Boo's favourite varietal wine, we tend to cook meals that call for white wine or lighter reds.

As a result, we've got a few bottles with a bit of age on them - and I figure that comes in handy at times like International Cabernet Day.

1404.  2006 Burrowing Owl Cabernet Sauvignon (VQA Okanagan Valley)

It would seem that others have written far more interesting tales of this wine than I'm endeavouring to try and match here. The winery's website's notes on the wine talks of how the "fruit was harvested on November 4th, 2006 in 4 inches of snow" and they go on to state that '06 was "one of the best vintages in the Okanagan." I guess that just goes to show how border line ripening Cab Sauv in the Okanagan can be - when grapes are grown in one of the province's hottest vineyards but are still being harvested in November in one of the region's best vintages.

Despite the "late" harvest date, the wine ended up being a well received bottle for Burrowing Owl. It won a Double Gold at the 2009 All Canadian Wine Awards. Indeed, Beppi Crosariol, one of the country's best known wine writers, wondered in a Globe and Mail column "Could Burrowing Owl be Canada's Screaming Eagle?" A paragraph or so later, he stated that "it would not be a big stretch to say Burrowing Owl makes this country's best cabernet" and followed that up with a statement that tasting the 2006 Burrowing Owl Cab Sauv provided "one of those I-can't-believe-it's Canadian moments. If it was not the best Cab in the land produced in 2006, it's close."

Granted, that column was written back in 2009 and, for me, Burrowing Owl's shine has lost a good bit of its lustre in the years since then. The wine held up nicely though, with fruit and structure still in place. The days of my buying a case or two of Burrowing Owl wines annually are behind me now (the reasons for that will have to be the subject of another post) but it's nice to still have a few older bottles around to remind me of those days of yore and the wines that first caught my attention.

Luckily, I don't feel obligated to wait for next year's Cabernet Day to open some more.

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