Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada
Alc. 13 %
While Domaine Queylus is still somewhat new to the scene on the Niagara Escarpment (their first vintage was 2010), their winemaking team and know-how would be envied by many well-established wineries. Led by Thomas Bachelder (yes, THAT Bachelder - 2009's Canadian Winemaker of the Year), they have put their focus squarely on small batch, premium wines made only from the cool-climate grape varieties that thrive in Niagara.
With a career that began in Mersault (home of excellent Chardonnay), and then led to Oregon's Willamette Valley (where Pinot Noir is king), it's no wonder that Bachelder's interests led him to explore the potential of these grapes in his native Canada. Joined by Kelly Mason, the Domaine Queylus team are producing wonderful examples of these traditionally Burgundian varieties.
Producing wine at Queylus is no easy task, as every step of the grape-growing and winemaking process is done by hand. The Tradition Pinot Noir is fermented without added yeast, which draws out additional complexity, before being aged in exclusively French oak barrels. The end result is a pure, uniquely Niagara expression of a Burgundy classic.
It's ready to go now, but if you can wait, this wine will continue to evolve for the next 2-3 years. Enjoy at a cool-ish 18 C.
Light colouring of garnet at the core, which looks more like red brick or clay as the wine is poured, or swirled in your glass. Still vibrant, but with rustic undertones.
Boysenberry and currants freshly picked at the end of the season, these crunchy red berries still smell tart, but have an underlying sweetness from their ripeness. Faint notes of sweet spice, cedar, and purple florals round out the aromas. Get transported to a walk through the forest on a fresh and brisk morning.
The wine appears light bodied as it is effortless when it travels across the tongue, but the slight grip to the tannins on the mid-palate leaves us with an extra oomph of texture and presence. An instant drying sensation coats the inside of the mouth, followed by quick building acidity that floods the palate. Wild black cherry, currant, and cranberry are brambly, woodsy and earthy, yet ripe and fresh - just like the nose. The finish is uplifted and bright.
Classic pairings are suggested, however repetitive, because they are undeniably good. Cedar planked Chinook salmon will be a home run with this Pinot. Or if you are looking to go against the grain, try eggplant and mushroom kabobs seasoned with 5 spice and served on wild rice.