Brett happens

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MWG July 13th tasting: report (2/5)

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Rosé 2009, Method Traditional, VQA Prince Edward County, Hinterland Wine Co. ($37)
75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay. Aged two-plus years on the lees. Disgorged and dosed in batches as stocks run low. 12% ABV.
Medium salmon pink with a faint bronze cast. Fine, lazy bead. Muted nose: bathpowder and a hint of nectarine and yeast. Dry and minerally. Good balance between extract and acidity. Only lightly fruity until the finish, when raspberry swells. As the wine breathes and warms, it turns sweeter and less integrated and gains a faint metallic edge. (Buy again? Maybe, though a QPR winner it’s not.)

3630 Bubble 2008, VQA Prince Edward County, Barnyard Wine Co. ($39)
A tiny winery. The wines are made at Hinterland’s facilities. The 3630 refers to the number of vines per acre. For the 2008 vintage, the estate’s entire crop was used for this bubbly, a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. 11.6% ABV.
Red berries, nectarine and a whiff of brett. Sourish and odd at first but coming around. Quite dry and never very fruity. Racy acidity it has in spades and lots of minerals on the finish. (Buy again? Maybe if it weren’t so expensive.)

Dea’s Cuvée 2008, Méthode cuvée close, VQA Ontario, Casa-Dea Estates Winery ($16)
A blend of Chard and Pinot Noir, with at least some of the fruit coming from elsewhere in the province. Made by the less labour-intensive cuvée close method (aka Charmat process). 12.5% ABV.
Yeasty, sour apple and silage with a metallic edge. Facile, fruity and sweet. Compared with the other wines in the flight, it tasted artificial and cheap. (Buy again? Nope.)

Cuvée Peter F. Huff 2008, VQA Prince Edward County, Huff Estates ($45)
A blend of Chardonnay (65%) and Pinot Noir (35%), the winery’s “all-county Blanc de noirs” claim notwithstanding. Traditional method vinification. Spent 30 months on its lees. 600 cases made. 12% ABV.
Delicate on the nose and palate. Rich effervescence. Light lemon and red berries. Quite dry and long with a toasty/yeasty note surfacing on the finish. Very elegant and the standout in this flight. (Buy again? Maybe, though excellent Champagnes can be had for less.)

Les Étoiles 2008, VQA Prince Edward County, Hinterland Wine Co. ($39)
A 50-50 blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir made using the traditional method. Aged on the lees for more than two years. The name likely refers to Dom Perignon’s apocryphal cry when he had his first sip of sparkling Champagne: “Venez vite, je bois des étoiles !” (Come quick, I am drinking stars!). If so, the winery is throwing down the gauntlet 12% ABV.
Electrum with a fine but plentiful bead. Toast and lemon on the nose. Minerals, lees and faint yellow stone fruit on the palate. A little funky and disjointed on both, improving only slightly as it breathed. Good balance between stuffing and acidity. Showing some depth, breadth and length. Still, it was hard to shake the feeling that the wine was “unsettled,” as one taster put it. An off bottle?  Unfortunate because you could see the Champagne-like potential. (Buy again? To give it another chance, yes.)

Written by carswell

August 15, 2012 at 19:41

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