A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 868: Flat Rock’s Yeast Experiment

Flat Rock experimental Chardonnays

Flat Rock Chardonnay 2021 (Niagara Peninsula, limited time offer $2.00 off, Jan. 29–February 25, $19.95)
Straw colour; lightly toasty, yellow apple bouquet with oak spice and a hint of apple blossom; medium-bodied, dry, crisp, apple flavour with lemony acidity. Mouth-watering acidity. (90)

Flat Rock Cellars “explores the effect of two different yeast strains on a parcel of Chardonnay grapes picked on September 30th from the North Block of the Flat Rock Vineyard. Neutral French of barrels were inoculated with either VL2 or Delta and underwent barrel fermentation… The familiar VL2 yeast strain, isolated in the caves of Burgundy, is a staple in Flat Rock Chardonnays. While the Delta strain is more common in aromatic whites like Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling, and is completely new to us.”

Flat Rock Delta Chardonnay 2021 (Twenty Mile Bench, $34.95)
A shade deeper straw colour than the previous Chardonnay; toasty, minerally nose of apple with oak spice; medium-bodied, dry, unctuous, orange and peach flavours; well-integrated oak. Lovely mouth-feel. Long lemony finish. (91)

Flat Rock VL2 Chardonnay 2021 (Twenty Mile Bench, $34.95)
Medium straw colour; minerally, apple and hay nose; developing barnyard notes like a fine Burgundy; medium-bodied, dry, beautifully balanced, apple and pear flavours; elegant and refined. (92) Continue reading

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A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 867: Lakeview Cellars Wines

Lakeview Cellars winemaker Scott McGregor

Lakeview Wine Co. Sparkling Brut 2017 (Niagara Peninsula, $45)
Bright straw, active mousse of small bubbles. Toasty, apple nose with a light floral note; medium-bodied, crisply dry, lemony-apple flavour; fresh and lively on the palate. (89)

Fresh Wines Sparkling Rosé (Ontario, $17.95)
Charmat process. Riesling & Gamay. Pale pink; a nose of yellow cherries; light-bodied, just off-dry, watermelon flavor. Well-balanced. (88.5)

Lakeview Cellars Sauvignon Blanc 2020 (Niagara Peninsula, $22)
Palest straw in colour; grassy, lanolin and gooseberry nose; medium-bodied, dry, elegant, grapefruit and gooseberry flavours with a light floral note. Finishes crisply. (90) Continue reading

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A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 866: An Assortment

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Cave de Hoen Mausberg Brut Blanc Crémant d’Alsace ($18.95, CSPC #416578)
Bright, pale straw in colour; minerally, crabapple nose; medium-bodied, dry, well-extracted apple flavour; fresh and lively on the palate. Good value. (90)

White House Wine Co. Riesling Pinot Grigio ($14.45, Niagara Peninsula, $14.95; CSPC #219022)
Made by Henry of Pelham. Light straw in colour; minerally, lemon and grapefruit on the nose; light-bodied, dry, lightly floral, apple and lemon flavours. Well-made. (89)

Red House Wine Co. Baco Cabernet Sauvignon (Ontario, $14.45 [$12.45 until January 29], CSPC #279521)
Deep purple colour; spicy, vanilla, blackberry bouquet with a smoky, charred note; medium-bodied, just off-dry, juicy, blackberry and black plum flavour with fresh, balancing acidity. Easy drinking. (88) Continue reading

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A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 865: Kacaba & Township 7

Kacaba Vineyards Cabernet Franc 2019 (Niagara Escarpment, $33.15)
Deep ruby in colour with a purple hue; cedary, toasty, spicy, tobacco nose of plum and blueberry; medium-bodied, dry, savoury, red plum and cherry flavours carried on fresh acidity. Nicely balanced, with firm but pliant tannins. (88.5)

Kacaba Vineyards Cabernet/Syrah 2020 (Niagara Peninsula, $24.95)
Deep purple-ruby colour; spicy, Christmas cake bouquet with a sweet vanilla oak note; medium-bodied, dry, beautifully balanced currant and red fruit flavours, firmly structured with well-integrated oak. Lovely mouth-feel. (90) Continue reading

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A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 864: Happy 2023!

Saw in the New Year with this excellent traditional method sparkler from Luxembourg: Bernard-Massard Cuvée de T’écusson Brut. A blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir and Riesling. Bready nose; medium-bodied, dry, well-extracted apple and pear flavours. (90)

Other wines tasted: Continue reading

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