A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 772: Nature versus Nurture

A photo of a computer screen showing a Zoom meeting between Ed and Tony

Ed Madronich and I taste wines the Zoom way

Flat Rock Cellars Pinot Experiment

Ed Madronich, proprietor of Flat Rock Cellars, invited me to a Zoom tasting of the winery’s 2019 Pinot Noirs. He had sent over a bottle of each of the Estate Pinot Noir, Gravity Pinot Noir and Nature Pinot Noir (made with natural yeast) and the same wine, treated in exactly the same way in terms of fermentation and barrel-ageing, made with cultured yeast, labelled Nurture. The experiment by winemaker David Sheppard was to determine the effect of the different yeasts on the bouquet and flavour of the wine as well as its colour.

Flat Rock Cellars Nature (natural yeast) Pinot Noir 2019 ($100 – sold as a pair; 80 cases)
Ruby colour (but not as bright as the cultured yeast product labelled as Nurture); minerally, slightly earthy and rustic nose, lightly floral and raspberry tones with a suggestion of oak; medium-bodied, dry, elegant, raspberry flavour with well-integrated oak. (89.5)

Flat Rock Cellars Nurture (cultured yeast) Pinot Noir 2019 ($100 – sold as a pair; 80 cases)
A shade deeper ruby in colour than the Nature; the floral component of the nose more intense; medium-bodied, dry, richer mouth-feel than the Nature and brighter fruit. (90)

Flat Rock Cellars Estate Pinot Noir 2019 ($22.95 – $2 limited time offer beginning November)
Ruby colour; lifted nose of dried rose petals and raspberries with a tobacco leaf note; medium-bodied, dry, raspberry flavour with fresh acidity and a suggestion of tannin on the finish. (89)

Flat Rock Cellars Gravity Pinot Noir 2019 ($34.95)
Deep ruby in colour; floral, Raspberry nose with oak spice; medium-bodied, dry, rich and concentrated, raspberry and black cherry flavours; beautifully balanced and firmly structured. (92)

Flat Rock’s 2019 Pinots

Other wines tasted:

CedarCreek Block 5 Chardonnay 2018

CedarCreek Block 5 Chardonnay 2018 (Okanagan Valley)
This is simply the best Chardonnay I have tasted from British Columbia this year. Bright, pale straw in colour with a lime tint; toasty, undergrowth nose of apple and oak spice; medium-bodied, dry, minerally, slightly reductive apple and lemon flavours with a touch of wood smoke. Very Burgundian in style, with great length. (92)

Henry of Pelham Sauvignon Blanc 2019

Henry of Pelham Sauvignon Blanc 2019 (winery only, $19.95),
Bright straw colour; minerally, green pepper and citrus nose; medium-bodied, tart gooseberry and green plum flavours with crisp, lemony acidity. (89)

Henry of Pelham Estate Chardonnay 2019

Henry of Pelham Estate Chardonnay 2019 (Short Hills Bench, Niagara; $21.95, Vintages Essential #268342)
Bright, straw colour; toasty, lightly spicy, apple bouquet with a forest floor note; medium-bodied, dry, apple flavour tinged with oak spice; well-integrated oak; long, fresh, lemony finish. (91)

Henry of Pelham Speck Family Reserve Pinot Noir 2019 ($34.95, online store and winery: CSPC #657874)
Deep purple-ruby colour; spicy, toasty, vanilla oak and black raspberry bouquet; medium-bodied, dry plum and red berry flavours carried on frisky acidity. (89)

Pencarrow Chardonnay 2018 (Martinborough, NZ, $21.95, Vintages #16028, to be released December 12th)
Straw coloured; spicy, toasty, buttery, apple bouquet; medium-bodied, dry, yellow apple flavour with fresh acidity. (89)

Quails’ Gate Estate Pinot Noir 2018 (Okanagan Valley, $32.95, Vintages #585760, to be released November 24th)
Deep ruby in colour; black raspberry nose with cedary notes; medium-bodied, dry, raspberry flavour with an earthy note and a firm tannic finish. Needs time. (89–91)

Robert Mondavi Winery Fumé Blanc Reserve 2015, To Kalon Vineyard

Robert Mondavi Winery Fumé Blanc Reserve 2015, To Kalon Vineyard (Napa Valley, $79.95, LCBO #326165, to be released October 31)
Medium straw colour; toasty oak, lightly smoky, waxy, green plum, grapefruit and tangerine bouquet; medium to full-bodied, dry, elegant, gooseberry, pear and green plum flavours; beautifully balanced and harmonious. Lovely mouth-feel and great length. Stunningly delicious! (93)

Baron Philippe de Rothschild Mouton Cadet Heritage 2017 (Bordeaux; $25.95, Vintages #14447)
85% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc. Deep ruby-crimson colour; cedary, blackberry and blackcurrant with a tobacco note; medium-bodied, dry, well-balanced and nicely integrated oak; flavours of red plum and cherry, firmly structured finishing on ripe, supple tannins. Fine mouth-feel. Drinking well but will improve with two years’ bottle ageing. (89–90)

Ruffino Romitorio di Santedame Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2016

Ruffino Romitorio di Santedame Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2016 (Tuscany, $69.95, LCBO #995183, release date Oct. 31)
Deep ruby-crimson in colour; cedary, spicy, cherry bouquet with vanilla oak, tobacco leaf and floral notes; medium-bodied, dry, cherry and black licorice flavours with grainy but ripe tannins; elegant and mouth-filling. Drinking well now but will improve with 4–5 years cellaring. (90–92)

The password for the Reviews page is still drinkme

This entry was posted in Wine Lover's Diary and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply