Introducing York’s new U50 wines, coffee and licensed merchandise

What’s the occasion? Are you looking for a special holiday present, a wedding, anniversary or new-graduate gift, or perhaps something thoughtful to say thank you to clients, friends or family?

As part of its 50th anniversary celebrations in 2009, York University has formed a partnership with a number of trusted suppliers to develop a line of special U50 signature products.

To help you with your shopping, York University is now offering an exclusive sneak preview of its U50 wines, coffee and signature products. If you order the U50 wines, coffee or featured U50 merchandise by Dec. 18, your order will be shipped to you just in time for the holidays. More products will be added in January in preparation for the University’s official birthday on March 26, 2009. Stay tuned!

U50 signature merchandise offers a special selection just in time for the holidays

To commemorate York’s 50th anniversary in 2009, a collection of signature products has been created. The aim of the collection is to offer design-oriented, environmentally friendly and affordable products, with a definite shot of whimsy.

The products are available for sale on the U50 Web site with more being added over the next few weeks. If you order by Dec. 18, the products will be shipped to you in time for the holidays. Starting in January 2009, the signature merchandise will be on display in the York University Bookstore and at the Glendon campus.

For more information and to order that special gift now, visit the Shop 50 Web page on the U50 Web site.

U50 wine is divine

Lailey Vineyard Wines, a family business based in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, has partnered with York University to offer two U50 wines. Both the red and white wines are Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA), which is your assurance that they are made from grapes grown in Ontario. All VQA wines are verified to confirm their origin and tested to ensure they meet a rigorous set of quality standards.

With every bottle purchased, $3.69 will go to the York University Foundation’s York to the Power of 50 campaign to benefit York students. Raise your glass in celebration of the past 50 years of achievement and offer a toast to the next 50 years. Order by Dec. 18 and your wines will be shipped to you in time for the holidays.

The York U50 2007 Chardonnay, VQA Niagara Peninsula, has sweet aromas of vanilla, yellow apple and pear with just a hint of spice. On the palate, flavours of peaches and pineapple with a creamy texture are balanced well by good acidity. The wine finishes with hints of grapefruit and spiced lemon. Drinking well now, this wine will also age beautifully for another five years.

The vintage of 2007 has been heralded as the best ever for growing Vinifera grapes in the Niagara Peninsula. The Chardonnay grapes for this wine were harvested by hand following a perfect growing season. The juice was cold-settled before being transferred to French oak barrels for fermentation and aging.

Wine critics agree that this is a wine worthy of its special U50 identity. Here’s what Tony Aspler and Vic Harradine, two of Canada’s most trusted wine critics had to say about the York U50 2007 Chardonnay.

The perfumed nose delivers vanilla, apple and mixed spice aromas while the flavours offer sweet stone fruit, peach and nectarine, along with moderating acidity from ripe citrus fruit. This is very generously textured, is medium weight and sports a lingering and well-balanced finish.
~ Vic Harradine

Colour: medium straw
Nose: minerally, spicy, apple
Taste: dry, lean, Chablis style, good length
Drinkability: now – 2009
~ Tony Aspler

The York U50 2006 Cabernet Merlot, VQA Niagara Peninsula, is a medium bodied wine with dark fruit aromas and a hint of spicy oak. Ripe black raspberry, blueberry and blackcurrant flavours with a sweet vanilla note are on the palate. The tannins are well-rounded and well-integrated. This rich, full-bodied wine finishes long with good balance.

Grapes for this wine were hand-harvested from Oct. 9 to 26 and are comprised of 44 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon, 30 per cent Merlot and 26 per cent Cabernet Franc. All grapes were fermented in small batches and were punched down by hand during ferment 2 to 3 times daily.

After Fermentation the wine was run off into small barrels where it was aged for 16 months before being bottled.

The critics have weighed in on this wine and they’ve given it their seal of approval. Once again, York asked wine critics Aspler and Harradine for their opinion of the York U50 2006 Cabernet Merlot.

Poured this alongside thirty or more wines at a charity event recently, it was clearly the ‘"people’s pick". Aromas of mint, dark berry and spice segue rich and focused flavours of red currant and ripe cherry with undertones of leafy tobacco and pie cherry tang. It’s medium in weight and texture and everyone enjoyed it on its own and with bison burgers. Winemaker Derek Barnett crafted an exceptionally delicious wine in this challenging vintage.
~ Vic Harradine

Colour: ruby
Nose: cedar, pencil lead, redcurrant
Taste: dry, lean, cranberry, redcurrant; soft tannins but showing a lovely floral note on the finish
Drinkability: now – 2009
~ Tony Aspler

For more information, or to order your own bottles of these special wines, visit the Shop 50 Web page on the U50 Web site.

Las Nubes Coffee offers more than just great taste

York and Timothy’s Coffees of the World are collaborating to promote Las Nubes sustainable coffee, one of Timothy’s special partnership coffees as part of U50 celebrations. Smooth-bodied with sweet fruity and citrus notes, this coffee is priced at just $10.95 for 340 grams (12 ounces).

Las Nubes Coffee, is the product of the collaboration between York’s Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University, the Tropical Science Centre in San Jose, Costa Rica and CoopeAgri, a local farmer’s cooperative in Costa Rica.

A portion of sales of Las Nubes coffee will be donated by Timothy’s to York University’s Fisher Fund for Neotropical Conservation which supports research and conservation activities in the Las Nubes region of southern Costa Rica.

Las Nubes coffee will be featured as the coffee of the month in 105 Timothy’s locations during March 2009, to mark York’s 50th. Other special promotions are planned to coincide with various anniversary activities during 2009. The coffee is available to order now from the Timothy’s Coffees of the World Web site.