Hiro Yoshida, the proprietor of Hiro Sushi in Toronto (416 304-0550) and a cherished friend, came to dinner at our house and brought a remarkable bottle of wine with him: Passion Meritage Ojos Negros 2004. This Bordeux-blend beauty from Bodegas San Rafael of Ensenada, Baja California, was a gift to Hiro from a Japanese friend who established a lucrative business in the Baja. It’s blended of about 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc, 15% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot and 2% Malbec. Current vintages are priced around $100.
In a word, the wine was exceptional. It was a lovely garnet tinged ruby with a paler garnet edge. The complex harmonious nose featured a salty iodine minerality with fresh and dried blackcurrant fruit and a sweet spicy floral nuance. In the mouth it featured plush grippy tannins, fresh acidity, deep mature fruit and a lovely long finish. You could easily guess that this was a second growth claret, maybe a St. Estephe. It was the perfect partner for a rack of lamb.
Many thanks, Hiro San, for the gifts of this wine and of your company.