A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 779: Commisso Winery at Villa Bacchus

Commisso whites

Commisso reds

Villa Bacchus is a 32-acre estate winery and Bed & Breakfast located on the 75-year-old Commisso farm at the top of the Niagara Escarpment. The winemaker is Andrzej Lipinski, who owns Big Head Wines and is renowned for his appassimento wines.

Commisso at Villa Bacchus Chardonnay 2016 (Niagara Lakeshore; $14.95)
Golden straw in colour; toasty, spicy nose of Bosc pear with a floral top note; medium-bodied, richly extracted pear and apple flavours with tangy acidity, finishing on a note of tangerine and grilled nuts. Velvety mouth-feel. Drink now or through 2021. (90).

Commisso at Villa Bacchus Chardonnay 2017 (Niagara Lakeshore; $37.95)
Bright, golden straw; toasty, minerally, apple bouquet; medium-bodied, dry, apple and green pineapple flavours with well-integrated oak, Well-structured with fresh acidity and great length. Drink now and through 2022. (91)

Commisso at Villa Bacchus Bianco 2019 (Niagara Peninsula; $20.95) (40% Gewurztraminer, 30% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Gris, 10% Sauvignon Blanc)
Bright, medium straw colour; aromatic, spicy, lychee, rose petal and ginger on the nose; medium-bodied, dry, honeysuckle and peach flavours; elegant and lingering. A beautifully balanced wine. Drink now but save some for summer 2021. (90)

Commisso at Villa Bacchus Pinot Noir 2017 (Creek Shores; $31.95)
Solid ruby colour; cherry and tea leaf bouquet with toasty oak spice; medium-bodied, dry, fleshy, cherry flavour with subtle oak notes with firm but ripe tannins. Enjoyable now but will reward patience – 1–2 years in bottle. (90)

Commisso at Villa Bacchus Rosso 2017 (Niagara Peninsula; $20.95) (50% Cabernet Franc, 30% Merlot, 10% Dornfelder, 10% Petit Verdot)
Deep ruby colour; cedary, spicy, plum, vanilla and tobacco leaf; medium-bodied, dry, raisiny, plum and blackberry flavours carried on racy acidity; rich mouth-feel. Can be consumed now but hold a year for the bouquet to develop. (89–90).

Commisso at Villa Bacchus Rosso Grande 2017 (Niagara Peninsula; $29.95) (60% Cabernet Franc, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 5% Dornfelder)
Dense, dark ruby in colour; cedary, spicy, toasty, tobacco leaf, black plum bouquet with a floral top note; medium to full-bodied, dry, plum and raisin flavours with a dark chocolate finish. Rich and full on the palate. Can be consumed now but will evolve nicely in 1–2 years. (90–92)

Other wines tasted:

Zonin Prosecco Cuvee 1821 (Veneto; LCBO #277186, $16.05)
Bright, pale straw colour with a lime tint; apple nose; medium-bodied, just off-dry, fruity, apple and pear flavours. (89)

Sunrock Vineyards Meritage 2016 (Okanagan Valley, BC; $34.95, Vintages #408393)
Opaque purple-black in colour; lightly cedary, vanilla, herbal nose with a floral note; full-bodied, dry, savoury blackberry and plum flavours with well-integrated oak and lively acidity, finishing with firm tannins. (88.5)

Kacaba Cabernet/Syrah 2017 (Niagara Escarpment; $29.95)
Deep ruby colour; lightly cedary, blackberry and blackcurrant bouquet with oak spice aromas; medium to full-bodied, dry, juicy black fruit flavours with a note of chocolate on the finish. (90)

Kacaba Meritage 2017 (Niagara Escarpment, $32.95)
Dense-purple-ruby in colour; lightly cedary, spicy, vanilla and plum nose with a floral top note; medium-bodied, dry, savoury, blackcurrant and licorice flavours with a firm tannic finish. Well-balanced. (89)

Hinterland Les Etoiles Sparkling Wine 2015 (Prince Edward County; $39.00)
Light straw in colour with an active mousse of tiny bubbles; minerally, apple nose; medium-bodied, dry, richly extracted, fruity and mouth-filling with laser-like acidity and a lightly floral finish. (91)

Malivoire Pinot Gris 2019 (Beamsville Bench, Niagara: $21.95)
Pink gold in colour; peach and citrus nose; medium-bodied, dry, fresh and lively on the palate with peach and lemon flavours. Well-balanced with a long, crisp finish. (88.5)

Henry of Pelham Riesling Speck Family Reserve 2019 (Short Hills Bench, Niagara; $27.95, LCBO #643362)
Very pale straw in colour; minerally, lime nose with a light floral note; light-bodied, dry, lime and grapefruit flavours; crisp and lively on the palate with great length, (90)

Henry of Pelham Gamay Estate 2019 (Short Hills Bench; $19.95 to be released in April, LCBO #19903)
Deep purple-ruby in colour; cherry and plum on the nose; medium-bodied, dry, sour cherry and red plum flavours; well-balanced, silky mouth-feel, with a tannic uptick on the finish. (90)

Durant & Booth Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 (Napa Valley: $34.95. To be released Feb. 6th, Vintages #16565)
Deep ruby in colour; cedary, spicy, black fruits; medium to full-bodied, dry, savoury, black plum flavour with a herbal note; firmly structured with evident but ripe tannins and a note of black chocolate on the end taste. (88.5)

Bartier Semillon 2019 (Okanagan Valley; $19)
Pale straw colour; minerally, waxy, peach bouquet; medium-biocide dry, elegant, crisp, green peach flavour; great balance and length. (90)

Sperling Vineyards Guy Lafleur 60 Brut 2012 (Kelowna, BC; $95, boxed and signed by Lafleur)
The “60” refers to Guy Lafleur’s record 60 goals scored for the Montreal Canadiens in 1978 – also to the number of months the wine stayed on the lees before disgorging.
100% Pinot Blanc. Pale straw in colour with an active mousse of tiny bubbles. Minerally, honeyed, almost saline nose of green apples; medium-bodied, crisply dry, elegant and beautifully balanced; apple and pear flavours with a long, lemony finish. (93)

Sacred Hill Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2018 (New Zealand; $21.95, to be released February 20th, Vintages #490326)
Pale straw in colour; green pepper and gooseberry bouquet; medium-bodied, crisply dry, green plum, gooseberry and elderberry flavours with lively acidity; elegant and lingering. (90)

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