A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 747: Martin’s Lane and Other Wines

Martin’s Lane is Anthony Von Mandl’s homage to his late father, a spectacular winery that specializes in Riesling and Pinot Noir. Winemaker Shane Munn produces some of Canada’s finest wines here. Continue reading

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A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 746: On Seven


Vittorio De Stefano with his first On Seven Chardonnay

On Seven is Niagara’s newest winery, located on Line 3 in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The name speaks to the acreage that Vittorio De Stefano and his wife Sula purchased in 2009.

With consulting winemaker Peter Gamble, the couple replanted the vineyard (clay-loam soil with calcareous sediment) to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The goal was to produce “classic” (read Burgundian) wines. It took 8 years of hard work in the organically-farmed vineyard to achieve the first On Seven vintage – the 2017 Pursuit Chardonnay (107 cases of twelve bottles, priced at $45 a bottle, vinified at Southbrook Winery).

The plan, De Stefano explained, is to have three tiers of Chardonnay – “Dedication,” the entry level wine, “Pursuit” and the flagship wine, called “Devotion.”

The inaugural vintage of Chardonnay is most impressive. If I had tasted it blind I would have thought it was a Chassagne-Montrachet. Continue reading

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Meet Marquette

As of August of this year, a new winter-hardy hybrid has been added to the VQA’s list of authorized grape varieties. It’s called Marquette and, according to Wikipedia, it’s  “an inter-specific hybrid red wine grape variety developed at the University of Minnesota, and is a cross between two other hybrids, MN 1094 and Ravat 262. Marquette was introduced in 2006.”

The grape’s most enthusiastic proponent is Sandor Johnson, owner of Potter Settlement Artisan Winery in Tweed, Ontario. Continue reading

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Where the Spirits Moved Him

My colleague and friend Tod Stewart has written a highly entertaining book on beverage alcohol. Here is the blurb from Amazon’s website: “Travelling the world over in search of the best spirits is no easy task. Quench Magazine’s contributing editor Tod Stewart takes a unique (and sometimes hilarious) outlook on the world of booze. You’ll never look at your glass the same way again. Foreword by whiskey guru, Davin de Kergommeaux.” (The Kindle edition is $2.99).


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A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 745: A Whole Lot of Tasting Goin’ On

Flat Rock Cellars Nadja’s Vineyard Riesling 2018 (Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara – $24.95, Vintages Nov. 23 release)
Bright, very pale straw colour; minerally, stony, lightly floral nose of honey and lemon zest; light-bodied, just off-dry, pink grapefruit flavour with lively acidity and great length. (90)

Flat Rock Cellars Rusty Shed Chardonnay 2018 ($26.95, Vintages #1552, Dec. 7 release)
Golden colour; spicy, toasty, apple, developing barnyard notes; medium-bodied, dry, richly extracted, peach and caramel flavours carried on balancing acidity – well-integrated oak, lovely mouth-feel. (92)

Campbell Kind Wine New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (Winemaker Steve Smith, Marlborough – $19.95, Vintages #10556)
Bright, pale straw colour; grassy, gooseberry nose with a guava note; medium-bodied, crisply dry, green plum and gooseberry flavours with racing acidity. (89) Continue reading

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