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A grand new home for Niagara’s Le Clos Jordanne opens tomorrow

By Rick VanSickle

“I hope, and I think, this is Arterra’s jewel in the crown,” said head winemaker Thomas Bachelder at a media preview of the Domaine Le Clos Jordanne’s new home on the Beamsville Bench Monday.

Niagara wine

The new destination winery, tasting room and retail facility is a spectacular showcase for its new location that houses one of the most important brands in Ontario, featuring Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays and a new sparkling wine from its two terroirs on the Twenty Mile Bench and now Beamsville Bench, at the former Angels Gate winery.

Turning into the re-imaged estate, the new winery owned by Arterra Wines Canada clearly sets the tone for the domaine with its classy, understated signage at the main gate and the stunning entry way as you approached the freshly completed winery. Everything is absolutely perfect and tells the story of a venerable brand that is finally getting its day in the limelight.

The official opening for the public is Wednesday (tomorrow), giving Domaine Le Clos Jordanne’s winemaking operations a physical home for the first time, and a winery experience for guests to learn, engage, taste and shop for some of Canada’s top of Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays.

Le Clos Jordanne’s dream of crafting exceptional Burgundian-style wines in Niagara takes a giant step forward with the opening of their first estate winery on the Beamsville Bench. “This isn’t just about bricks and mortar; it’s about a deep commitment to showcasing the unique terroir of Niagara, a region often compared to Burgundy’s prestigious Côte d’Or,” said a news release.

The new estate gives Domaine Le Clos Jordanne’s winemaking operations a physical home for the first time, and a winery experience for guests to learn, engage, taste and shop the award-winning wines. Grapes are grown on Old World vines imported from a luxury winery in the heart of Burgundy, France and are the classic noble varietals from the region.

The VIP tasting room.

Tomorrow (June 5) marks the beginning of a new era for Domaine Le Clos Jordanne with a renewed focus on revealing the unique and distinct terroir of the Niagara region, making Le Clos Jordanne’s Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays rare Canadian examples of the varietals, the news release said.

“The original goal of Le Clos Jordanne was to create a ‘domaine’ in the Niagara region, producing ultra-premium, Burgundian-style Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, entirely from our vines,” said Bachelder. “Our first estate winery opens an opportunity to hone and uncover rich, new wine stories from a range of parcels that build on our portfolio of distinct ultra-premium VQA wines.”

Le Clos associate winemaker Phillip Brown and cellar master Kerri Crawford prepare samples from upcoming vintages of Chardonnay at the new vineyard where Angels Gate once was. Bachelder keeps the gaggle of wine media on their toes.

Bachelder brings a unique set of skills and experience. He spent 10 years mastering Burgundian winemaking techniques before returning to North America, and he now specializes in crafting exceptional cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with a minimal intervention approach that helps the region’s unique personality shine through.

Domaine Le Clos Jordanne’s commitment to quality and taste begins in the vineyards, the news release said. Along with the new estate, the winery also purchased new vineyards in Beamsville, with plans to expand its winemaking philosophy beyond Jordan. These new locations will accompany the three legacy vineyards – Talon Ridge, Le Clos Jordanne and Claystone Terrace. Each vineyard has its own unique microclimate helping to create distinct wines across the tiers, ensuring every glass of Domaine Le Clos Jordanne tells the story of the terroir.

Kerri Crawford pours Champagne to compare it with the new sparkling wine Le Clos is releasing this summer.

Guests to the new estate will be able to indulge in the complete Domaine Le Clos Jordanne experience and learn more about the winemaking philosophy with a renovated interior and custom millwork that includes an all-new tasting room, retail boutique, and a renovated terrace with majestic views of wine country. You can reserve your spot for a “hero” tasting experience that brings the terroir to table, an à la carte tasting or pair a glass of their terroir revealing wines with Burgundian inspired hors d’oeuvre on their terrace. Visit here to book online and visit the estate.

In addition, Domaine Le Close Jordanne will release new wines from the 2021 vintage later this summer, and will unveil their first sparkling wine, the Crémant de Jordanne. It will be available first as an exclusive for members of ‘La Grand Famille,’ a new wine club membership with bi-annual shipments and access to the top tier ‘Le Grand Clos’ wines. It provides exclusive access to members-only experiences and new vintage unveiling events, and first access to new vintages and member-only wine offerings. To learn more about the wine club go here.

Wines in Niagara was at the media preview on Monday and tasted the full range of 2021 Le Clos wines, along with a sneak peek at the new sparkling wine, barrel samples of the 2022 vintage wines, and the first 2023 Beamsville Bench Chardonnay. Here is what we liked:

The sparkling wine

Domaine Le Clos Jordanne Crémant de Jordanne 2020 ($55, 92 points) — Over 75% of the production at the Le Clos properties is Pinot Noir, so “we had to make a Blanc de Noirs,” said Bachelder, for its first sparkling wine. Our sample was unlabelled for this tasting but should be ready for purchase in July. It spent 12 months of its less. It shows fresh raspberries, lemon, salinity, and chalky/stony notes in a fresh style with a lively bubble in the glass. The fresh red berries shine on the palate with zesty citrus, mineral persistence, some creamy notes, robust bubble and a vibrant fresh finish.

The Pinot Noirs

Domaine Le Clos Jordanne Village Pinot Noir 2021 ($30, 92 points) — To avoid repeating myself, all Le Clos wines are wild fermented and wild malo with a deft touch on aging in 100% French oak barrels. As much detail in the winemaking goes into the Village wines as the single vineyard and grand clos wines. This has a lovely nose of brambly red berries, floral perfume, anise/fennel, savoury notes and integrated, elegant spice. It has a silky texture on the palate with black cherries, wild raspberries, earthy undertones and long, lifted finish. Can cellar to 2028.

Domaine Le Clos Jordanne Claystone Terreace Pinot Noir 2021 ($42, 93 points) — Associate winemaker Phillip Brown calls the Claystone Vineyard “a bit of an underdog, but there’s a beautiful wildness in this wine.” Indeed, there are many converts to this vineyard, who prefer it over the grand cru. It certainly shows its wild, savoury and complex side on the nose with dark cherries, carrying more spice, brambly raspberries, and anise. There’s more structure on the palate, earth/savoury notes, but also more fruit laden with persistent ripe red berries, dark wild berries and a tangy, vibrant and lifted finish. Good cellaring here, say 2031+.

Domaine Le Clos Jordanne Grand Clos Pinot Noir 2021 ($50, 93 points) — The Grand Clos is always sourced from the best barrels in the Le Clos Jordanne Vineyard. It has a much prettier, floral nose with juicy red berries led by ripe dark cherries, red currants, black raspberries and integrated spices. It shows beautiful harmony on the palate, even its youth, with a silky texture, ripe tannins, forward red berries, a touch of anise, spice and a lifted, long finish. Can cellar this to 2032.

The Chardonnays

Domaine Le Clos Jordanne Village Chardonnay 2021 ($30, 92 points) — If you took this sensational “Village” level Chardonnay to Burgundy and poured it for locals at this price they would be shocked. It represents incredible value for what you get. Such a generous nose of saline and wet stones with ripe pear, yellow apple, lemon freshness and perfumed/spice notes. It has a comforting creamy texture on the palate to go with ripe pear, quince, lemon curd, stony minerality and spice with a fresh, lifted finish. Great wine, incredible value and ready to drink now or in the next three years.

Domaine Le Clos Jordanne Claystone Terrace Chardonnay 2021 ($42, 92 points) — “Our job is really to make sure these wines taste as different as possible,” said Bachelder of the Claystone vs the grand clos. He finds the Claystone brings a “savoury salinity” to the nose of this personable Chardonnay. It has a persistent nose of ripe yellow apples, pear, bergamot, floral notes, chalky/stony minerality, perfumed spice and savoury accents. It’s textured and more rounded on the palate with layers of pear, apple, creamy notes, integrated spice and length on a finessed finish. Can cellar to 2030.

Domaine Le Clos Jordanne Grand Clos Chardonnay 2021 ($50, 93 points) — A much more elegant Chardonnay as befitting a grand cru, with a pretty, lifted, perfumed nose of pear/apple, lemon tart and spice. It’s generous, rich and lavish on the palate, but not weighty at all, with layers of quince, citrus zest, bergamot, chalky/saline minerality and fine oak spices that linger on the long, lifted finish. A beauty that will bring rewards for 10+ years in the cellar.