A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 806: I4C Covid Style; Martin’s Lane Rieslings & Pinot Noirs

It’s I4C time Covid-style. The first zoom seminar was “Learn to Taste like a Master of Wine – A Study in Chardonnay.” It was conducted by Michelle Cherutti-Kowai MW and featured five wines from cool climate regions. Michelle told us to look (as Master of Wine students) at the following features of the wines: Grape variety, Origin, Winemaking or Maturation method, Quality and Commercial relevance (where sold and how). “Taste like a detective, and argue like a lawyer” was her advice when tasting blind in the MW exam.

We had been sent a box of the following wine samples:

Domaine Laroche Saint Martin Chablis 2019 (Burgundy)
Light gold with a green tint; leesy, lemony, minerally nose of green apple; medium-bodied, dry, high acid – crisp, green apple flavour with a green nut finish and a touch of bitterness. (89)

Gary Farrell Vineyards Russian River Chardonnay 2018 (Sonoma)
Golden colour; toasty, citrus, apple and peach nose with a floral note; medium-bodied, dry, richly extracted flavours of pineapple and peach with a saline note. Lively acidity with a lovely mouth-feel. (91)

Bachelder Wismer Wingfield Ouest Chardonnay 2018 (Niagara)
Bright straw colour; intense, toasty nose of vanilla, apple, apricot; minerally and lightly floral; medium-bodied, dry, elegant, well-structured flavours of apple, lemon and peach with well-integrated oak. Great length with a nutty, lemon finish. (90)

Hamilton Russell Vineyards Chardonnay 2018 (South Africa)
Straw colour; slightly reductive nose, minerally, pencil lead, toasty, apple with a funky note; medium-bodied, dry, flavours of green apple, pear and smoke with a touch of bitterness on the finish; great mouth-feel with a long, lemony finish. (92)

Kellerei Bozen Chardonnay 2019 (Alto-Adige)
Straw colour with a green tint; salty, citrus, leesy nose of green pear; medium-bodied, dry, pear and lemon flavours with a crisp, long finish of mouth-watering acidity. (90)

Wine samples for Master of Wine tasting

Second webinar: François Chartier conducted a webinar tasting entitled “Dissecting Chardonnay! – At a Molecular Level.”

Participants had been sent a box of six wine samples:

Ravine Vineyard Unoaked Chardonnay 2020 (Niagara)
Pale straw in colour; minerally, lightly floral nose with a hint of toastiness, lemon peel, grass and green apple notes; medium-bodied, crisply dry, tart green apple flavour; firmly structured with lively acidity. (90)

Kellerei Bozen Chardonnay 2019 (Alto-Adige)
(see above note)

Hidden Bench Winery Estate Chardonnay 2018 (Beamsville, Ontario)
Bright, light golden colour; lifted, high-toned, reductive nose of apple with well-integrated oak; slightly volatile, apple and pear flavours. (87)

Gary Farrell Vineyards Russian River Chardonnay 2018
(See above note)

2027 Cellars Wismer Vineyard Foxcroft Block Chardonnay 2019 (Jordan Station, Niagara)
Bright straw in colour; toasty, leesy, tobacco leaf nose; medium-bodied, dry, lemon and apple flavours; well-integrated oak – in Chablis style, with a lemony finish. (90)

Rosehall Run Unoaked Chardonnay 2019 (Prince Edward County)
Straw colour; toasty, grapefruit and apple nose: medium-bodied, dry, rich mouth-feel, very elegant with well-integrated oak. (91)

Wine samples for I4C second session

Saturday, July 24: The I4C lunch in the Le Clos Jordanne Vineyard, prepared by Steve Sperling, Executive Chef Tide and Vine Oyster House.

At the Raw Bar Reception, we sampled Yellow Fin Tuna Tartar and Fresh-Shucked Malpeque Oysters with Le Clos Jordanne Jordan Village Chardonnay 2019. Then we sat down under a tent for a sumptuous five-course lunch, matched with Chardonnays from three continents.

First course

Second course

Third course

Main course


Martin’s Lane’s New Zealand-born winemaker Shane Munn sent me his new vintages of his Riesling and Pinot Noir. A very exciting tasting!

Martin’s Lane Simes Vineyard Riesling 2017
Pale straw in colour; minerally, lime and grapefruit bouquet with a light floral note; medium-bodied, crisply dry, elegant, lean and precise, with a fine spine of lemony acidity and great length. (91)

Martin’s Lane Naramata Ranch Riesling 2017
Pale straw colour; still tight on the nose’ crisp, green apple and grapefruit bouquet and flavours with a long, fresh finish. (90)

Martin’s Lane Fritzi’s Riesling 2017
Pale straw colour; minerally, apple and lime bouquet; broader on the palate than the two previous Rieslings; crisply dry with lime and tangerine flavours and a honeyed note in mid-palate. A beautifully balanced wine. (92)

Martin’s Lane 2017 Rieslings

Martin’s Lane Fritzi’s Riesling 2018 (Benjamin Whitty, who did a stage at CedarCreek, next door to Martin’s Lane, brought this bottle)
Straw colour; starting to develop petrol notes on the minerally, green apple nose; still tight but very elegant; rich mid-palate with crunchy acidity and an engaging note of bitterness on the finish. (90 – 92)

Martin’s Lane Simes Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016
Deep ruby colour; lovely nose of violets and mulberries with a light cedary note; medium-bodied, dry, rich, intense mulberry flavour; beautifully balanced and elegant; great length. (92)

Martin’s Lane Naramata Ranch Pinot Noir 2016
Deep ruby in colour; lightly cedary nose of raspberry and cherry; medium-bodied, broad on the plate with earthy plum and cherry flavours; firmly structured with ripe tannins. (9o–91)

Martin’s Lane Dehart Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016
Deep ruby in colour; floral, spicy, black cherry nose; medium to full-bodied, dry, richly extracted black cherry flavour, beautifully balanced and firmly structured. (91)

Martin’s Lane Fritzi’s Pinot Noir 2016
Deep ruby colour; lightly cedary, floral nose of mulberries; medium to full-bodied, dry, juicy mulberry flavour; rich and full on the palate; beautifully balanced and textured with a lovely mouth-feel. (93)

Martin’s Lane 2016 Pinots

Other wines tasted:

Mission de Picpus Malbec 2018 (Cahors, $17.95, Vintages #10573)
Dense purple in colour; cedary, blackberry and black plum bouquet with oak spice; medium to full-bodied, dry, creamy, black fruit flavour; well-structured and well-balanced with a firm dark chocolate finish. (90)

Mission de Picpus Malbec 2018

Cusumano Merlot 2019 (Sicily, $12.95)
Dense purple colour; cedary, plum bouquet with oak spice; full-bodied, dry, cherry and red plum flavours with lively acidity. (87)

The Hedonist Sangiovese Rosé 2020 (McLaren Vale, $19.95, Vintages #668442)
Coppery-orange in colour; cranberry and cherry pit nose; medium-bodied, dry, sour cherry flavour with lively acidity. (88.5)

Henry of Pelham Pinot Grigio 2020 (Ontario, $14.95, #250217)
Bright, pale straw; minerally, peach pit nose; medium-bodied, dry, white peach flavour with a touch of sweetness in mid-palate. (88)

Halos de Jupiter Côtes du Rhône 2019 (Rhône, $18.95, Vintages #276956)
Deep ruby in colour; spicy, deary, blackberry nose with a peppery note; full-bodied, dry, firmly structured, savoury blackberry flavour with a herbal note and a warm alcoholic finish. (89)

Halos de Jupiter Côtes du Rhône 2019

Bonny Doon Le Cigare Volant 2018 (California, $24.95, Vintages #857157, to be released August 21)
52% Grenache, 35% Cinsault, 13% Syrah. Purple-ruby colour; black raspberry bouquet with a light floral note; medium-bodied, dry, fruity, black raspberry and blackcurrant flavours carried on lively acidity. (91)

Bonny Doon Le Cigare Volant 2018

Henry of Pelham Chardonnay 2020 (Short Hills Bench, $14.95)
Golden colour; lightly floral, apple nose with a toasty note and oak spice; medium-bodied, dry, apple and peach flavours with a toasty oak note and a hint of dried herbs. Good length. (89)

Speck Bros. Three of Hearts Rosé 2020 (Niagara Peninsula, $19.95, LCBO #552562)
Pale salmon in colour; strawberry and yellow cherry bouquet; medium-bodied, dry, elegant and well-balanced strawberry and cranberry flavours. (89)

Speck Bros. Three of Hearts Rosé 2020

Saint Roch Vieilles Vignes Grenache Blanc/Syrah/Carignan 2017 (Côtes du Roussillon, $16.95)
Straw colour; minerally, peach nose with a touch of oak; medium-bodied, dry, peach and lemon flavours, firmly structured and well-balanced. (90)

Saint Roch Vieilles Vignes Grenache Blanc/Syrah/Carignan 2017

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