Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Best of Niagara: Pinot Noir

The Niagara Peninsula may offer the terroir that resembles Pinot Noir's famous home in Burgundy the closest in Canada. It may be to no one's surprise then that the best Pinots produced here are Burgundian in character: earthy, austere and age worthy. The following Pinot Noirs, sorted by price point, tick all the boxes:

$30 and below:

Tawse Winery 2007 Pinot Noir - $25
The nose offers ripe fruit aromas of cherry, raspberry and plum with vanilla and earthy notes. An echo of sweetness on the otherwise dry palate from the concentrated fruit flavours of dark cheery, raspberry and oak spice. Where to buy: Direct from winery and LCBO Vintages.
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$40 and below:

Chateau des Charmes 2007 Paul Bosc Vineyard Pinot Noir - $35
This is an extremely mineral and earthy Pinot that needs time in your cellar. Buy, hold and wait to enjoy this excellent Pinot Noir. Where to buy: Direct from winery.

Rosewood Estates Winery and Meadery 2007 Beamsville Bench Pinot Noir - $36
Winner of a gold medal at the 2009 Wine Access Awards. More residual sugar than most of the other top Pinots, but the balance works. 11 months in French oak. Where to buy: Direct from winery.
Coyote's Run Estate Winery 2008 Black Paw Vineyard Pinot Noir - $36
The St. David's Bench winery makes two single vineyard Pinot Noirs and they are fun to taste side-by-side in the tasting room. Chances are this is the Pinot you'll leave with. Very well made and tasty. Where to buy: Direct from winery.

Norman Hardie 2008 Niagara Pinot Noir - $39
Produced from fruit grown on the Beamsville Bench on the Niagara Peninsula. Technically, Norman Hardie is a Prince Edward County producer, but this wine is so good we thought we'd sneak it in. Where to buy: Direct from winery.

Le Clos Jordanne Estate Wines 2007 Talon Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir - $40
The Talon Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir offers elegant, developing aromas of dark cherry, raspberry seed, oak spice and steely minerality on the nose. The palate recalls the limestone terroir with earthy flavours, austere acidity and smooth, integrated tannins. Very Burgundian in character. Where to buy: LCBO Vintages and Jackson-Triggs Niagara.
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- Liam Carrier ©copyright 2010

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