Tuesday, November 10th: Thomas Bachelder, the winemaker for Clos Jordanne (as well as Domaine Queylus and his own Bachelder label) invited Rick Van Sickle and me to lunch at the St. Catharines Club to taste the 2018 vintage of Clos Jordanne Le Grand Clos Pinot Noir and Chardonnay (we did it in Burgundian fashion, white after red).
Thomas had decanted both the Pinot and the Chardonnay some three hours before we sat down to perform an experiment: which tasted better, the newly opened bottle or the one that had been decanted.
Le Clos Jordanne Le Grand Clos Pinot Noir 2018 (Jordan Bench, Niagara – $45.00, to be released November 28th)
Bright ruby in colour; a pronounced nose of violets, black raspberry and oak spice medium-bodied, dry, savoury, black raspberry flavour carried on vivid acidity; lovely mouth-feel, still a little tight on the finish but a remarkably fine wine. The best Pinot Noir I have tasted from the Grand Clos. (95)
(We then tasted the same wine that had been decanted for over three hours: I found that the floral aromas that I enjoyed in the freshly opened (screwcap) bottle were not as intense; it was broader on the palate and the tannins were, perhaps predicably, were more mellow).
Le Clos Jordanne Le Grand Clos Chardonnay 2018 (Jordan Bench, Niagara – $45.00, to be released November 28th)
At 375 cases this wine is half the production of the 2017 vintage. Pale golden straw colour; lightly floral, spicy, melon bouquet with evident vanilla oak (22 months in barrel) with a minerally-chalky thread; medium-bodied, dry, round on the palate, voluptuous and fleshy yet elegant in structure and texture; rich and lingering on the palate. (94)
(The decanted bottle: I found more drive and energy in the newly opened bottle, but this decanted bottle developed a barnyard note on the nose.)
Thomas told us that there is a Le Clos sparkling in the works. Exciting!
CedarCreek in the Okanagan sent me three bottles of their Platinum label Pinot Noir 2018 produced from three different clones:
2018 CedarCreek Platinum Pinot Noir Clone 777
Ruby colour; raspberry, cedar and tobacco on the nose with a barnyard note; medium-bodied, dry, elegant, raspberry flavour lovely mouth-feel; well-integrated oak. Great length. (91)
2018 CedarCreek Platinum Pinot Noir Clone 115
Ruby colour; raspberry nose, cedar-tinged with a light floral note; medium-bodied dry, broader on the palate than the 777 clone; firmly structured with a spicy finish. (92)
2018 CedarCreek Platinum Pinot Noir Clone 667
Deep ruby in colour; spicy, minty, raspberry nose; medium-bodied, dry, soft on the palate with blackcurrant and raspberry flavours and just a touch of oxidation. Great length. (91)
Other wines tasted this week:
Frescobaldi Lucente La Vite 2017 (Tuscany, $34.95, Vintages #747030)
A Merlot & Sangiovese blend. Deep ruby in colour; cedary, cherry nose with oak spice; medium-bodied, dry, cherry flavour with rac acidity and mellow tannins. (91)
Buena Vista Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 (California North Cost, $19.95; Vintages #254458, to be released January 9th, 2021)
Dense purple-black in colour; cedary, black fruits on the nose with evident spicy oak; medium to full-bodied, dry, juicy, ripe black plum and blackcurrant flavour; well-balanced and lingering. (90)
Frank Hellwig Shiraz Grenache 2017 (Australia, $17.95, LCBO #15514)
Deep purple-ruby; earthy, meaty, blackberry nose; medium to full-bodied, dry, juicy, fruity blackberry with oak spice and a herbal note. (89)
Henry of Pelham Chardonnay Estate 2019 (Short Hills Bench, Niagara – $21.95, Vintages Essential #268342)
Bright straw colour; lightly toasty, spicy, apple bouquet; medium-bodied, dry, richly flavoured apple and lemon flavours with a mineral thread and well-integrated oak. Lovely mouth-feel and great length. (90)
Garbo Negre 2018 (Montsant, Spain)
Opaque purple in colour; cedary, smoky, blackberry nose with herbal notes; full-bodied, dry, black raspberry and clove flavours, richly extracted, good acidity, fruity with ripe tannins. (89)
Le Volte dell’Ornellaia 2018 (Tuscany)
Deep ruby-plum in colour; cedary, cherry bouquet; medium-bodied, dry, elegant, well-balanced cherry flavour with well-integrated oak. A pleasure to drink. (91)
The Audacity of Thomas G. Bright Marquette 2019 ($17.95 at Wine Rack stores)
Deep purple in colour; lifted blackberry, leather and vanilla bouquet; medium-bodied, dry, juicy and fruity and rustic cherry and plum flavours. (88)