Dan Aykroyd "Discovery Series" Cabernet-Merlot 2006

At my local LCBO, two shelves below the Wayne Gretzky Unoaked Chardonnay, I found Dan Aykroyd’s wines dangerously close to the salt and snow stained floor.
One thing to be understood about Canadians is that essentially we are Marsha from The Brady Bunch. Just as in our cinema, when it comes to wines Canadians have to be coaxed into believing they’re good enough, smart enough and pretty enough. This means selling Canadian wines to Canadians is probably harder than it needs to be. In comes the recent rash of celebrity wines to lend a solution to that problem.
So I put on my Bill Murray Clothing Shirt and cracked a bottle of Dan Aykroyd Discovery Series Cabernet Merlot 2006. At $16.95 (+$0.05 bottle deposit) this prices it just about in the dead centre for an Ontario produced and cellared wine. Other than an iridescent microphone the label isn’t silly or kitsch. This wine wants you to take it seriously, so I did.
The nose has something in it. I think it’s strawberry? It’s faint. It could be blackberry or other berries. But it’s hardly present. Huge oak flavours and way too much sulphur. It’s retarded how sulphuric this stuff is. Afterwards some mouth feel and residual sulphur remains. And that’s about it. It’s like licking an oak tree while somebody farts in your face. The sulphur is very chemical, industrial even. Reminds me of the treated well water at my uncle’s farm.
I waited an hour for the sulphur to off gas. Eureka. Suddenly this is a different animal. The strawberries are gone and a little more typically berry flavoured. The bottle still smells like strawberries and sulphur. The tannic oaky flavour is still a bit strong for my taste but suddenly this is more like a bottle of cab-merlot that should cost $17, probably less. Not horribly remarkable but not bad at all. What was with the initial sulphur? Weird. It finished like a cheap date with that acidic feel on the teeth and not much of a taste other than, well, acid.
I’m glad Dan Aykroyd is investing in the wineries here on the Niagara Peninsula. But I think the whole idea behind the “Discovery Series” is to introduce people to wines they’ve never tried before. That makes sense. But I’m wondering if people who drink wine and buy $17 bottles at the LCBO have never had a really bold cab-merlot before? I guess that’s where lending a celebrity name comes into the picture.
If it had the Ghostbusters logo on it I’d review it better.
Dan Aykroyd [but really Lakeview]Price: C$16.95Closure: SyntheticDate tasted: January 2008