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Norman Hardie Chardonnay, Redstone Riesling top picks from Vintages Niagara wine release this weekend

xnorm poursThe Vintages release at the LCBO this Saturday is smaller than usual for Ontario wines, likely because of its upcoming focus on the region in September. But there are a couple of wines to take note of.

Both the Norman Hardie (he’s pictured above) Niagara version of the 2012 Chardonnay and the Riesling from Moray Tawse’s Redstone winery are worth a look. I’ve also read good things about the Vineland Estate St. Urban Vineyard Riesling 2012 but I haven’t had a chance to taste it yet. I’ve also include a few wines from the Aug. 2 release that I missed posting.

Here’s what I can recommend from the release Saturday in terms of Niagara wines, and a few from two weeks ago.

0184432Norman Hardie Niagara Unfiltered Chardonnay 2012 ($39, 90 points) — Norman Hardie sources this fruit from the St. Davids Bench in Niagara. The nose shows rich pear and apple fruit, soft vanilla spice and nutmeg. It’s surprisingly fresh, considering the vintage, with orchard fruits, a vein of citrus and underlying acidity and minerality through the finish. An elegant and poised wine from start to finish.

Redstone Limestone Vineyard South Riesling 2012 ($19, 89 points) — From the estate’s Limestone Vineyard South on the Twenty Mile Bench. The fruit from the Riesling in this vineyard is split between north and south with half going to Tawse and half going to Redstone. The nose shows penetrating notes of lime, grapefruit, quince and a lovely floral note. It’s round and succulent on the palate with honey-kissed grapefruit and lemon-lime flavours that find balance from the acidity.

Also released, but not reviewed:

Fielding Pinot Gris 2013 ($22)
Vineland Estates Elevation St. Urban Vineyard Riesling 2012 ($20)
Megalomaniac Sonofabitch Pinot Noir 2012 ($25)
Lailey Sauvignon Blanc 2012 ($20)

From the Aug. 2 release

Fielding-Estate-Riesling-2013-LabelFiedling Estate Bottled Riesling 2013 ($19, 90 points) — 75% of the fruit is from the estate’s Beamsville Bench vineyard with the rest coming from the Tufford Road vineyard. Such an inviting nose of summer peaches, jasmine, orange blossom and lime-citrus. It’s tangy on the palate with fresh grapefruit, wild honey, mineral, lemon-lime and verve through the finish.

Henry of Pelham Family Tree White 2010 ($18, 88 points) — Wow, a lot going on in this wild blend of Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Viognier and Chardonnay-Musque that sees some oak aging. The nose is expressive with peach-pear, vanilla cream, lychee, grapefruit and nutmeg aromas. The palate shows ripe and exotic flavours ranging from white peach to tropical fruits with integrated butterscotch-vanilla and cream notes. A white blend that stands out from the crowd.

Le Clos Jordanne Village Reserve Pinot Noir 2011 ($30, 88 points) — A nose of sour cherry, cedar, tobacco, raspberry bush and bramble. There is some structure on the palate with fresh acidity to go with raspberry-cherry and cassis notes that are a bit shy at the moment. I would suggest that this was a touch closed when I tasted it.