His latest effort, a tier of small lot, minimalist, artisanal wines with a distinctive craft paper label, looks past what PEC traditionally does best: Pinot Noir and oaked Chardonnay from estate fruit. His new wines reach beyond PEC with a single vineyard Riesling from Niagara, a red blend that combines Niagara and PEC fruit, a rose that also uses fruit from both regions, and two 100% estate-grown wines (one you’ll never see again).
Here’s what I liked from the new wines.
Rosehall Run The Righteous Dude Riesling 2013 ($20, 89 points) — “Riesling is to me, one of the purest expressions a vineyard and winemaker can render,” says Sullivan. “In that sense it is righteous; and because it has such a fun broad appeal — just like Ferris Bueller, ‘they say he’s a righteous dude.’ ” This Riesling is sourced from the Twenty Mile Bench and has a nose of bright apple, citrus, pear and an interesting vein of minerality. It’s slightly off-dry on the palate with ripe and juicy fruits, minerals and balanced out by good acidity.
Rosehall Run Just One Rose Rose 2013 ($18, 88 points) — This rose combines Niagara Gamay with PEC Pinot to offer up a nose of meaty plums and bramble followed by raspberry and cherry notes. It’s nicely dry on the palate with a collaboration of red and dark fruits and a zesty finish.
Rosehall Run Hungry Point Unoaked Chardonnay 2013 ($20, 89 points) — Hungry Point in PEC is so named because of the difficulty growing cash crops in the drought-stricken area. But Chardonnay vines thrive in the elixir of calcareous limestone, well-drained soils and temperate growing conditions. This is a lovely expression of pure Chardonnay with a nose of green apple, tropical fruit and integrated citrus zest. It’s clean and fresh on the palate with mouth-watering green apple and lemon-lime citrus all perked up by racy acidity.
Rosehall Run The Certain Ratio 2012 ($30, 90 points) — This is a pan-lake effort with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot sourced from the Niagara and the Cabernet Franc from PEC. The nose displays blackberries, red fruits, graphite, a subtle herbaceous note and nutmeg spice. The palate reveals more dark fruits, rich spices, earth, gritty tannins and depth through a long finish. Very fine, indeed. Could lay this down for a few years.
Rosehall Run The Finisher 2013 ($18 for 375 Ml, 90 points) — This first sweet dessert wine made by Sullivan is an highly unusual blend of 85% Ehrenfelser that was partially botrytised and Muscat Ottonel. It has an exotic nose of grapefruit, honey, poached pear, melon and elderberries. It’s quite sweet on the palate with a ripe mélange of exotic fruits, a lush texture and decent acidity. This is a on-off from Rosehall as the Ehrenfelser is being replanted to Tempranillo.