Proprietor Harald Thiel and retail manager Meg McGrath rolled out the new wines in the Hidden Bench pre-release Wine Club event. The day was cool and misty so the crackling fire in the stone fireplace on the patio was certainly welcome.
Served while the participants were gathering:
2017 Nocturn Rosé – Tasting Note
At the tasting:
2013 Blanc de Blanc, Zero Dosage (92 pts, Jamie Goode) – a refreshing, just disgorged, sparkling with very fine bubbles (apparently this is achieved through leaving the juice longer on the lees). The pairing was in-house smoked salmon creme on spelt crostini with Canadian caviar and citrus. Tasting Note
2017 Estate Riesling A dry riesling from a vintage that suffered from too much rain but an amazing, unexpected pairing. Upper Canada Cheese Heritage Cheddar and Niagara green apple grilled cheese with spiced apple butter. Never occurred to me to drink riesling with grilled cheese but I will certainly do it again.
2015 Téte de Cuvée Chardonnay (94 pts, David Lawrason) Gold medal winner at the 2018 National Wine Awards of Canada.
2015 Felseck Vineyard Chardonnay (93 pts, Michael Godel) Platinum medal winner at the 2018 National Wine Awards of Canada.
The group did a vote as to which of the two chardonnays was preferred. Blind tasted (as to the award) the majority voted for the Platinum winner. These two wines were paired with an oak-smoked Ontario pork nacken ‘duo’ (nacken was not a term I had heard before but is applied to a specific cut of pork that, unsmoked, is used for pulled pork) with fresh peach preserve and apricot compote.
2016 Rosomel Vineyard Nuit Blanche (93 pts, Jamie Goode) The amount of semillon was upped in this vintage and it is very fruit driven. A turkey wine!! Paired with ‘Turkey Dinner’ schnitzel (turkey, panko crumbs) – Tasting Note
2016 Estate Pinot Noir (92 pts, Michael Godel) This was a warm, dry vintage producing a light coloured pinot similar to a Roussillon. Harald quoted an assertion that “if you can’t read your newspaper through the wine, it isn’t pinot”. In looking up this quote touching on the colour of pinot I fell across quite a fascinating article about “faux” Languedoc-Roussillon pinot noir – well worth the read here. This pinot was paired with a scrumptious roasted, glazed cremini mushroom cap stuffed with pancetta and parmesan gratinée – Tasting Note
2015 Locust Lane Pinot Noir (93 pts, Jamie Goode) – Harald described this wine as “brawnier” relative to the Estate Pinot we had just tasted. Of course it had more age but also more structure and richer colour. Again a surprising pairing – lamb bourguignon with Pinot Noir and pearl onion jus.
2015 Terroir Caché (93 pts, Jamie Goode) This is a blend of 36% Cabernet Franc, 34% Merlot, 24% Malbec, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon.This blend was not made in 2014. Paired with beef short rib braised with Cabernet and black pepper with a suet pastry crumble scattered on top.