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)

Bachelder “Bai Xu” 1981 Old-Vine Plantation Chardonnay 2019 (Four Mile Creek, $44.95)
Bright straw colour; apple nose with a banana note, oak spice and a thread of minerality; medium-bodied, dry, rich and full on the palate with great concentration of ripe peach and orange flavours. Lovely mouth-feel. (92)

Bachelder Cuesta Vineyard Chardonnay “Est” & “Far-East, Man!” (20-Mile Bench, $44.95)
Bright straw colour; minerally, toasty, smoky apple bouquet; medium-bodied, dry, struck flint, richly extracted, baked apple flavour with lemony acidity.  Hedonistic! (92.5)

Bachelder Wismer Foxcroft NORD Vineyard Chardonnay 2019 (20-Mile Bench, $47.95)
Straw colour; reductive, spicy, lightly toasty nose of yellow apple; medium-bodied, dry, saline, apple and peach flavours. Richly extracted, full and round on the palate. Reminiscent of Puligny-Montrachet. (93)

Bachelder Wismer Wingfield OUEST Vineyard Chardonnay 2019 (20-Mile Bench, $47.95)
Bright straw colour; spicy, toasty, creamy nose of yellow apple with oak spice; medium-bodied, dry, richly extracted but fruity orange, pineapple and peach flavours. Great length.  (94)

Bachelder Warren Saunders 100 Vineyard ORGANIC Chardonnay 2019 (20-Mile Bench, $47.95)
Bright straw colour; buttery, spicy, apple with mineral notes on the nose; round and full on the palate and well-structured; peach and apple flavours; beautifully balanced with well-integrated oak. (92)

Bachelder Grimsby Narrows East Block Chardonnay 2019 (Lincoln Lakeshore, $44.95)
Bright straw colour; buttery, spicy, minerally, macadamia nut and apple bouquet; rich and full on the palate; medium-bodied, dry, elegant, well-balanced with a lively spine of acidity and a saline note on the finish (92)

PINOT NOIR “LIEUX-DITS” from West to East:

Bachelder 2019 Pinot Noirs

Bachelder “Les Villages” Pinot Noir 2019 ($34.95)
Light ruby in colour; high-toned, lightly floral nose  of raspberries with a strain of minerality’ medium-bodied, dry, firmly structured raspberry and red plum flavours. (89)

Bachelder Lowrey Vineyard “Old Vines/Vieilles Vignes” Pinot Noir 2019 (St. David’s Bench, $47.95)
Bright ruby in colour; high-toned, strawberry and red plum bouquet with a light floral note of violets; medium-bodied, dry, elegant, firmly structured, Volnay style; lovely mouth-feel; evident but ripe tannins with a juicy finish. (91–93)

Bachelder “Cuesta” Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019 (20-Mile Bench, $ 44.95)
Ruby colour; lightly toasty, cherry puree nose with oak spice; medium-bodied, dry, elegant, firmly structured with evident tannins. (89)

Bachelder Hanck Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019 (20-Mile Bench, $47.95)
Slightly more intensity in the ruby colour than the previous Bachelder Pinots; smoky, minerally, raspberry bouquet with a note of leather; medium-bodied, dry; beautifully balanced, lovely mouth-feel and lightly reductive that heightens the bouquet. (93)

Bachelder Lowrey Vineyard “Old Eastern Block” Pinot Noir 2019 (St. David’s Bench, $65.00)
Bright ruby in colour; high-toned cherry nose with a thread of minerality; medium-bodied, dry, toasty, strawberry and cherry flavours with a sour cherry finish. Well-balanced and elegant. (91)

Bachelder “Wismer-Parke” “WILD WEST END” Pinot Noir 2019 (20-Mile Bench, $60.00)
High-toned nose of struck flint and red cherries with a mineral streak; cedary, slightly reductive with strawberry and cherry pit flavours; beautifully balanced, firmly structured and great length. (91)

Bachelder Wismer-Parke” Pinot Noir 2019 (20-Mile Bench, $47.95)
Ruby colour; lightly cedary, spicy, fragrant red berry nose with an earthy note; medium-bodied dry, well-balanced, firmly structured and tight. Needs time (90–92)

Bachelder “Warren Saunders 100” Vineyard Organic Pinot Noir 2019 (20-Mile Bench, $47.95)
Bright ruby in colour; lifted nose of raspberries, toasty oak with a floral top note; medium-bodied, dry, elegant and delicate yet firmly structured, with a lovely mouth-feel. (92–93)

At the end of this exciting tasting, Thomas produced two magnums – his Willms Vignes de 1983 Chardonnay 2019 (Four Mile Creek) and his Wismer-Wingfield Ouest Chardonnay 2019 (Twenty Mile Bench) – for us to compare to the 750mL format.

Altogether an inspiring way to spend a wet Friday afternoon.

Other wines tasted this past week:

Kew Vineyard Marsanne Viognier 2018 (Beamsville Bench, $19.95)
Bright, golden straw colour; light reductive, minerally nose of peach with a saline note; medium-bodied dry, well-balanced, white peach flavour with a peach pit finish and a suggestion of salt. Hold to develop the bouquet 1–2 years.  (89–91)

Kew Vineyard Marsanne Viognier 2018

Closson Chase Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019 (Prince Edward County, $36)
Bright ruby in colour; lightly cedary, raspberry and tea leaf nose; medium-bodied, dry, elegant, raspberry flavour; firmly structured with ripe, mellowing tannins. (90)

Closson Chase Stirling Barrique Pinot Noir 2019 (Prince Edward County, $50)
Unfiltered. Bright ruby in colour; toasty, vanilla, raspberry nose; medium-bodied, richly extracted raspberry flavour carried on lively acidity to a firm but round, spicy finish. (91)

Closson Chase Churchside Pinot Noir 2019 (Prince Edward County, $42)
Bright ruby colour; spicy, toasty nose of raspberries; medium-bodied, dry, elegant, beautifully balanced with well-integrated oak; rich raspberry flavour with a note of orange peel. Lovely mouth-feel. Great length. (92)

Closson Chase Pinots

Amo Vineyard Riesling 2020 (Niagara Peninsula, $34.95)
Very pale straw in colour; minerally, grapefruit nose with a light petrol note; light to medium-bodied, off-dry grapefruit and lime flavour with a touch of honey. Sustains well on the palate. (89)

Amo Vineyard Pinot Gris 2020 ($34.95)
Bright, pale straw; corky-ness on the nose; spicy, peachy flavour with a mineral finish. (Shame about the cork. Could be a tasty wine. Not scored)

Amo Vineyard Rosé 2020 ($44.95)
Elegant, stylish square bottle. Salmon pink in colour; minerally, strawberry nose; medium-bodied, dry, strawberry and cranberry flavours, well-balanced and lingering. (90)

Amo wines

Henry of Pelham Fumé Sauvignon Blanc 2020 (Short Hills Bench; winery only, $19.95)
Bright, pale straw colour; grassy, lanolin, green pepper nose; medium-bodied, crisply dry, lemon, tangerine and pink grapefruit flavours rounded out with oak; great length. Very white Bordeaux in style. Finishes with a saline note. (91)

Henry of Pelham Fumé Sauvignon Blanc 2020

Henry of Pelham Baco Noir 2020 (Ontario, $15.95, CSPC #270926)
Opaque purple in colour; cedary, toasty, blackberry nose; medium-bodied, dry, richly extracted plum and blackberry flavour. Great value. (89)

Henry of Pelham Cabernet-Merlot 2020 (Short Hills Bench, $24.95, Vintages #395855, to be released December 11th)
Deep ruby colour; cedary, red licorice and red currants on the nose with oak spice; medium-bodied, dry, red and blackcurrant flavours with vanilla notes; lively acidity and ripe tannins. (89)

Henry of Pelham Cabernet-Merlot 2020

Henry of Pelham Bin 106 “Lost Boys” Baco Noir 2020  (Ontario, $34.95, CSPC #13421, to be released November 13th)
Dense purple in colour; cedary, savoury, blackberry nose with a note of rose petals; medium to full-bodied, dry, silky, blackberry flavour; rich and full in the mouth with fresh acidity. An amazing high quality wine from a hybrid grape. (92)

Henry of Pelham Bin 106 “Lost Boys” Baco Noir 2020

Bonanza Cabernet Sauvignon N/V (California)
Dense purple colour; cedary, black fruit nose with oak spice; full-bodied, dry, plummy, ripe tannins – with enough acidity to give the wine balance. Its 13.8% alcohol gives a warm finish. (88)

Bonanza Cabernet Sauvignon

Primus Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 (Maipo Valley, Chile, $19.95, Vintages #486043)
Opaque purple-black in colour; cedary, spicy, blackcurrant bouquet with a toasty note; full-bodied, dry, licorice and black fruit flavours; firmly structured, richly extracted and savoury. (88)

Primus Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

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