A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 822: Icellars Estate Winery

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Icellars Estate Winery is a small boutique VQA member winery located in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The 60-acre fallow land was carefully selected by owners Adnan and Elif Icel based on precise research of ideal growing conditions for premium vinifera varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petite Verdot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Viognier. Adnan invited Rick VanSickle and me for a portfolio tasting. Adnan is a mechanical engineer from Turkey who purchased the property in 2010. Two years later, after preparing the vineyard, he planted all red varieties apart from Chardonnay. Continue reading

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A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 821: Le Clos Jordanne’s New Release

Le Clos Jordanne wines

Le Clos Jordanne Le Grand Clos Chardonnay 2019 (Twenty Mile Bench, $45)
Winemaker Thomas Bachelder wanted to call the third vintage of this wine Le Grand Clos Blanc (mimicking Chardonnay vineyard at Clos Vougeot). An apposite concept because the wine is totally Burgundian in style and execution. Bright straw in colour; lightly toasty, apple nose with suggestions of vanilla and apple blossom and a thread of minerality and oak spice. Medium-bodied, dry, apple and pear flavours carried on lively lemon acidity finishing on a chalky, saline note; beautifully balanced, well-integrated oak and a lovely mouth-feel. (93–94)

Le Clos Jordanne Le Grand Clos Pinot Noir 2019 (Twenty Mile Bench, $45)
Solid ruby colour; spicy, vanilla, minerally, black raspberry bouquet with a top note of violets; me.dium-bodied, dry, elegant, beautifully balanced red berry fruit and ripe tannins with a chalky note on the finish. (92)

Saturday, November 20th: Deborah and I had two meals at Ravine Vineyard today! Lunch was an auction item from a Access Education Guatemala auction, won by Dave and Liz Sawicki. I ordered mushroom soup (delicious) and burger (which was lightyears from the medium rare I asked for). The wines: Ravine Brut, Ravine Reserve Chardonnay 2019 and Ravine Cabernet Franc Nancy’s Block 2019 (the Chardonnay was a great hit with our group).

Lunch wines at Ravine Vineyard

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A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 820: Pentâge Winery, Penticton, BC

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Pentâge Fizz Blanc 2020
Ehrenfleser and Gewurztraminer, Palest straw in colour with a lime tint; aromatic, lilac and citrus bouquet; light-bodied, on the dry side of off-dry; crisp grapefruit, peach and lychee flavours. Refreshing. (89)

Pentâge Rosé 2020
A field blend of 10 different varieties. Deep pink colour; minerally, strawberry/raspberry nose; medium-bodied, dry, raspberry and cranberry flavours with a flinty note, carried on lively acidity. (90)

Pentâge Syrah 2016
Deep purple in colour; cedary, herbal nose of blackberries with oak spice; medium to full-bodied, dry, savoury, black olive and black fruit flavours with well-integrated oak and balancing acidity. (89)

Pentâge Merlot 2016
Mature ruby colour; toasty, spicy, blueberry nose; medium to full-bodied, dry, richly extracted black plum and blueberry flavours; well-balanced with a firm finish of pliant tannins. (90)

Pentâge Pinot Noir 2018
Light ruby in colour; cherry pit bouquet with oak spice notes; medium-bodied, dry, lean and sinewy raspberry and cranberry flavours with a fresh acidic finish. (89)

Pentâge Hiatus Red 2015
A blend of 50% Petite Sirah, 22% Merlot, 10% Syrah, 1% Cabernet Franc, 4% Mourvèdre, 4% Zinfandel. Opaque purple in colour; cedary, sweet oak, plum and blackcurrant bouquet; medium to full-bodied, dry, lightly spicy, blackberry and black plum flavours; firmly structured and well-balanced. (90)

Other wines tasted:

Sea Sun Pinot Noir 2019 (California, $24.95, Vintages #16027)
Deep purple colour; lightly cedary, toasty nose; medium to full-bodied, spicy, toasty sweet plum flavour. Richly extracted, fleshy and full of flavour but lacking in elegance. (88.5)

Fancy Farm Girl Flirty Bubbles 2020 (Ontario)
Bright pink in colour; strawberry bouquet, medium-bodied, just off-dry, strawberry and redcurrant flavours with balancing acidity. (88)

Fancy Farm Girl Frosty Fizz 2020 (Ontario)
A blend of Vidal and Riesling. Pale straw in colour; apple nose; light-bodied off-dry, apple and gooseberry flavours. (88.5)

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A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 819: Henry of Pelham and a Great Golf Club Dinner

Dean MacLean at work

Tasted six wines from Henry of Pelham and one from South Africa: Continue reading

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A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 818: Thomas Bachelder’s “Toussaints” Release

Thomas Bachelder with his Chardonnay magnums

Rick VanSickle and I were invited to Bachelder’s Bat Cave for a tasting of his Toussaint 2019 Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs, released on November 1st.

CHARDONNAY “LIEUX-DITS” from East to West:

Bachelder 2019 Chardonnays

Bachelder Willms Vineyard 1983 Plantation “East-Side” Chardonnay 2019  (Four-Mile Creek, $47.95)
Bright straw colour; toasty, spicy nose of vanilla, apple and green pineapple; richly extracted toasty flavours of baked apple; lovely mouth-feel. (91) Continue reading

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