2019 Cabernet Franc
The 2019 vintage had a cool start and stayed moderate throughout. The sunny, warm-but-never-hot weather continued well into harvest and allowed us to hang the grapes very late into the season, giving plenty of time to fully ripen. On the nose raspberry, blackcurrant, strawberry and blackberry immediately appear, followed quickly by tomato-leaf, roasted red-pepper, cured meat, cigar-box, cocoa and cumin. The palate shows lovely balance but is a bit more brooding, with blueberry appearing along with cassis and blackberry playing off leather, tobacco and smoked-sausage with a mossy/brambly character the underpins the whole wine. Elegance and exquisite finesse meet richness, with present tannins giving this wine immense structure and ageability. We continue to raise the bar for Cabernet Franc in Niagara, and this is another great example that call easily age 8-10 years. To drink now, decant well in advance and the wine will really unfold for you!
2019 Senchuk Vineyard Pinot Noir
When we first planted our vineyard, we dreamed one day of making a wine like this! Incredible weight, density and structure, yet still solidly medium+ bodied and agile. The cool and steady season was just about perfect for Pinot, creating a depth and balance this wine has never had before. The number of layers is hard to fathom and keeps unfolding on the nose; first bing cherry, pomegranate, and sugar-beets, then wintergreen, earth and moss followed by tomato-leaf, tobacco, pepper and rose-petal. As the nose opens further herbs like tarragon, sage and oregano appear over dried leaves and damp soil. On the palate, kirsch and mulberry lead, followed quickly by fried oyster-mushrooms, tan-leather, fennel seed, cured-meat and pan-drippings. Raspberry pokes back in, only to be subsumed by hazelnut-encrusted lamb, bramble and wet stone. On the one hand full-bodied with a core structure and tannin that can easily last a decade, yet with vibrant acidity and incredible nimbleness and balance. This wine continues to amaze us and shows why we took the chance 13 (?!) years ago to try to make world-class wine on the edge of Niagara in the town of Winona.
2020 Senchuk Vineyard Chardonnay
WOW, what else can we say? The Senchuk Chardonnay is always the best expression of the vintage grown in the Senchuk Vineyard and this wine does not disappoint. The aromatics jump out of the glass with lemon-curd, pineapple and fruit blossoms leading, encompassed by sea salt, spice and white pepper. Although there is a richness to the nose of salt-water toffee and toasted almonds, there is also restraint, focus and minerality. The palate demonstrates the complexity that is hinted at on the nose, with layers of both richness and restraint. Miso crème brûlée with caramel sea salt, hints of vanilla and warm ripe fruits all mixed together with “water over a mountain stream” level minerality! The finish just goes on and on showing why this is a truly outstanding example of Senchuk Vineyard!
2020 Grimsby Hillside Chardonnay
An amazing growing season has given us a stunning debut for this vineyard! Exceptionally tightly wound, the bright lemon curd is balanced perfectly with wet-stone, gunflint and wisps of wintergreen in the background. With more air some green apple, pineapple, crème-fraiche and roasted almond do start to appear, but the fantastic notion of a cold mountain stream trickling over limestones never fades. The palate is perfectly balanced showing good weight and structure which is almost immediately washed away with laser-like acidity. The finish is exceptionally complex and long, fading very slowly. Truly unique!