A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 889: On Seven’s New Release of Its 2020 Vintage

On Seven wines

On Seven is a new boutique Niagara winery owned by passionate wine aficionados Vittorio and Sula De Stefano. The De Stefanos bought an abandoned 7-acre vineyard (hence the name) in 2009 in Four Mile Creek, and, under the guidance of consultant viticulturist and founding winemaker Peter Gamble, prepared the site for 3 years before replanting in 2014.

On Seven Pinot Noir 2020: The wine was fermented in a single second-use 228 litre barrique (because of the disastrously low crop the barrel was 2/3rds full, and the wine had to be protected with an injection of carbon dioxide before finishing in stainless steel). Fourteen cases were made, and Burgundy lovers will want to get their hands on this wine. Rich ruby colour with a bouquet of violets, black raspberry and oak spice; medium-bodied, dry, raspberry and tealeaf flavours, richly extracted and firmly structured with a lovely mouthfeel. A seamless wine with ripe tannins. The oak is beautifully integrated, and the wine reminded me of Beaune Clos des Mouches with its thread of minerality. (94) Price: $55

On Seven Pursuit Chardonnay 2020: The wine was fermented in Damy oak barriques, 20% new for 20 months. Bright straw in colour, it offers a toasty, nutty, creamy nose; full-bodied, dry and mouth-filling, it’s richly textured and beautifully balanced, with flavours of apple and cream and an intriguing note of peach pit bitterness on the finish. (95) Price: $48

On Seven Devotion Chardonnay 2020: If Pursuit shouts Puligny-Montrachet then On Seven Devotion Chardonnay 2020 whispers Montrachet. Deeper in colour and more viscous than Pursuit, the nose is an amalgam of vanilla, toast, apple and new leather. Full-bodied and dry, with beautifully balanced flavours of apple, pear and Macadamia nut. With its note of terroir salinity on the finish, Devotion is the best Chardonnay I have tasted from the 2020 vintage. (96) Price: $65

Other wines tasted:

Henry of Pelham Sauvignon Blanc 2021 (Short Hills Bench, Niagara; $21.95, Vintages Essential)
Pale straw in colour; a nose of lanolin and green plum with a touch of oak; medium-bodied, crisply dry, flavours of passionfruit, gooseberry and lemon. Bordeaux style. (92)

Speck Brothers Family Tree The Goat Lady Chardonnay 2020 (Short Hills Bench; $16.95)
Golden colour; spicy, clove and peach bouquet with vanilla oak notes; medium-bodied, dry, richly extracted peach and clove flavours; beautifully balanced. Great value. (92)

Henry of Pelham Chardonnay Three Hills 2022

Henry of Pelham Chardonnay Three Hills 2022 (Short Hills Bench, $19.95)
Bright, pale straw in colour; apple and lemon bouquet; medium-bodied, dry, elegant, apple and pear flavours carried on lively acidity. (89)

Henry of Pelham Family Tree The Padré Cabernet-Merlot 2020

Henry of Pelham Family Tree The Padré Cabernet-Merlot 2020 (Short Hills Bench, $17.95, Vintages #18667)
Deep purple-ruby colour; cedary, blackcurrant nose; medium-bodied, dry, black and redcurrant flavours; well balanced and firmly structured. (89)

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