A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 868: Flat Rock’s Yeast Experiment

Flat Rock experimental Chardonnays

Flat Rock Chardonnay 2021 (Niagara Peninsula, limited time offer $2.00 off, Jan. 29–February 25, $19.95)
Straw colour; lightly toasty, yellow apple bouquet with oak spice and a hint of apple blossom; medium-bodied, dry, crisp, apple flavour with lemony acidity. Mouth-watering acidity. (90)

Flat Rock Cellars “explores the effect of two different yeast strains on a parcel of Chardonnay grapes picked on September 30th from the North Block of the Flat Rock Vineyard. Neutral French of barrels were inoculated with either VL2 or Delta and underwent barrel fermentation… The familiar VL2 yeast strain, isolated in the caves of Burgundy, is a staple in Flat Rock Chardonnays. While the Delta strain is more common in aromatic whites like Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling, and is completely new to us.”

Flat Rock Delta Chardonnay 2021 (Twenty Mile Bench, $34.95)
A shade deeper straw colour than the previous Chardonnay; toasty, minerally nose of apple with oak spice; medium-bodied, dry, unctuous, orange and peach flavours; well-integrated oak. Lovely mouth-feel. Long lemony finish. (91)

Flat Rock VL2 Chardonnay 2021 (Twenty Mile Bench, $34.95)
Medium straw colour; minerally, apple and hay nose; developing barnyard notes like a fine Burgundy; medium-bodied, dry, beautifully balanced, apple and pear flavours; elegant and refined. (92)

Malivoire Bisous Brut NV (Beamsville Bench, $34.95)
63% Chardonnay and 37% Pinot Noir blend. Pale gold in colour; active mousse of tiny bubbles; toasty, apple nose; light-bodied, dry, green apple, green pear, and lemon flavours. Lovely mouth-feel with a lemony finish. Great length. (90)

Gunderloch Fritz’s Riesling 2021 and Treana Chardonnay 2021

Gunderloch Fritz’s Riesling 2021 (Rheinhessen, $17.95)
Light straw in colour; stoney, lightly floral nose of grapefruit zest; light -bodied, just off dry with lemon and honey flavour; good tension between honeyed sweetness and lemon acidity. Great balance. (90)

Treana Chardonnay 2021 (Central Coast, $25.95)
Deep golden colour; mature, toasty nose of caramel, peach, and oak spice; full-bodied, rich and opulent on the palate, off-dry, buttery, peach, melon and clove flavours with oak spice and a toasty finish. An extrovert Chardonnay that holds nothing back. (89)

Da Silva wines

Da Silva Vineyards and Winery Vinho Branco 2021 (Okanagan Valley, $25)
A blend of Pinot Gris, Viognier, Pearl of Csaba and Chardonnay; honeysuckle and melon nose; medium-bodied, perfumed and aromatic, peach and melon flavour; well-balanced with just the right amount of balancing acidity. Lovely mouth-feel. (89)

Da Silva Vineyards and Winery Pinot Noir 2020 (Okanagan Valley, $40)
Deep ruby-purple in colour; lifted nose of cedar and black cherries with tea leaf notes; medium-bodied, dry, richly extracted juicy cherry flavour with well-integrated oak carried on lively acidity to a finish of resolved tannins. (90)

Da Silva Vineyards and Winery Nobreza 2019 (fruit from Penticton and Oliver, $95)
A blend of 60% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc. Deep purple in colour; cedary, spicy, black plum and blackcurrant nose; full-bodied, richly extracted, sweet black fruit and dark chocolate flavours; beautifully balanced and seamless. Fleshy but muscular with a lovely mouth-feel. (91)

Yalumba Samuel’s Collection Barossa Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  (Barossa Valley, $24.95, Vintages #12999, to be released February 18th)
Deep ruby purple colour; cedary, blackcurrant nose with oak spice; medium-bodied, dry, elegant, raspberry, blackcurrant, and plum flavours; beautifully balanced, firmly structured; lovely mouth-feel. (90)

Viña Real Crianza 2019

Viña Real Crianza 2019 (Rioja; $18.95, Vintages #657411; to be released February 4th)
Deep purple in colour; cedary, toasty, cherry nose; medium-bodied, dry, savoury, sour cherry and plum flavours; firmly structured, well-balanced, finishing on ripe tannins. (89)

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