There’s a bit of a Pinot Noir theme going on with the Vintages release this Saturday. Which is a good thing considering most of the Pinots to appear on shelves are from the fabulous 2009 vintage.

If you have ever doubted Niagara’s ability to produce world-class Pinots, you simply haven’t tried the wines from this vintage. They are loaded with red fruits, acidity, elegance and complexity.

And they also pair magnificently with the Christmas turkey dinner.

Here’s what’s being offered at Vintages stores beginning Saturday.


Photo courtesy of Bryan Calandrelli

Le Clos Jordanne Talon Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009 ($40, 89 points) — Talon Ridge (the vineyard is seen in the top photo) is the youngest of the vineyards situated in the Vinemount Ridge sub-appellation (the rest of the vineyards are in the Twenty Mile Bench sub-appellation). This Pinot Noir is racked only once during aging to make it more approachable upon release. It is, indeed, expressive on the nose with red and dark berries, plums, vanilla, spice, pepper and even a touch of anise. It displays ripe black cherries on the palate, good structure, some minerals and integrated spice. Can drink now, but better in a year or so.

Peninsula Ridge McNally Vineyards Proprietor’s Reserve Pinot Noir 2009 ($25, 90 points) — Quite a forward and bright red berry Pinot that shows off the cherry-kirsch-strawberry fruit of the vintage. It is smooth and ripe on the palate, with red fruits, sweet cedar and vanilla spice, soft tannins and showing great balance now. Can drink or hold this wonderful Pinot Noir that’s a steal at $25.

Flat Rock Riddled Sparkling 2008 ($30, 90 points) — A blend of 71% Chardonnay with the rest Pinot Noir. A fantastic follow up to the more fleshy 2007 vintage. I truly adore the no-fuss beer-bottle style crown cap that simply pops off with no spillage whatsoever. The nose is all about clean, fresh apple, lime-citrus, toast and mineral. It’s vibrant and lively on the palate with an energetic mousse, lemon-lime zest flavours and razor sharp acidity.

CIMG6163Chateau des Charmes Old Vines Rielsing 2008 ($17, 91 points) — Chateau des Charmes sources the grapes for this from the estate’s oldest vineyards planted in 1978. Only the oldest and most mature blocks are picked for the Old Vines Riesling. The nose shows wonderful flint, citrus, tropical and some pear and spice notes. I love this wine on the palate with a substantive array of fruit, layers of minerality, balancing acidity and a sweet note of petrol emerging. Buy, drink now or cellar if you prefer Riesling with rich mineral notes. Very fine sip.

13th Street Cuvee 13 Sparkling Brut Rose ($25, 88 points) — A lovely traditional-method sparkling rose with pretty but subtle strawberry and cherry fruits on the nose to go with light toasty notes. It’s fresh on the palate with a vigorous mousse and bright, freshening acidity.

I noticed a few deals at Vintages coming out on Saturday. Reif First Growth Merlot 2007 is on for $40 (savings of $10), Vineland Estate Pinot Meunier on for $15 (savings of $3) and Southbrook Triomphe Cabernet Franc 2008 on for $20 (savings of $3).

Also released, but not reviewed:

Jackson-Triggs Proprietors’ Grand Reserve Cabernet Franc Icewine 2007 ($25 for 200 ml)

Stoney Ridge Vidal Icewine 2007 ($35 for 375 ml)

Inniskillin Sparkling Vidal Icewine 2010 ($70 375 ml)

Cave Spring Chardonnay Musque 2009 ($16)

G. Marquis The Silver Line Chardonnay 2008 ($17)

Malivoire Musque Spritz 2010 ($20)

Inniskillin Winemaker’s Series Montague Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009 ($40)