Found Notes, Finally Published - Ontario Wines

27 Jun 2024

Sometimes you end up looking through the cupboards at home and discover a pot you had no idea you had, or a gadget you could have used last week (which you just re-purchased on Amazon), or even a last can of your favourite soup ... let's consider this that last can scenario. While looking in a folder I found some unpublised reviews from 2023 ... I give them to you now, en masse. just in case some of these wines are still available or are in your cellar.

(Presented alphabetically by winery)

Between the Lines 2020 Gewurztraminer
Notes of spiced-lychee, tropical fruit, and even some spiced peach.
SOLD OUT - Rating: *** ½

Cave Spring 2020 Chardonnay
A nice punchy Chardonnay with lots of tropical and stoned fruit, plus some subtle spices.
SOLD OUT – Rating: *** ½

Chateau des Charmes 2020 Gamay Noir Droit
Not sure why I expected more from this wine, the 2020 vintage should have punched this wine way up. Instead, it's cherry-cranberry with a touch of white pepper and the notation in my book says “decent”.
SOLD OUT - Rating: *** ½

Closson Chase 2021 Chardonnay - The Loyalist
Buttery with smoky-spices, plus Mac apple and Asian pear; there's also a pleasant acidity to keep it tasting fresh.  
SOLD OUT - Rating: *** ½+

Closson Chase 2020 Pinot Noir, Churchside
The nose leads with earthy, smoky, peppery and herbaceous then there are the primary notes of sour cherry and cranberry all with a high acidity. It's a solid pinot noir from the county.  
SOLD OUT - Rating: *** ½+

Closson Chase 2021 Mosaic
Charmat Chardonnay from Closson - one day I expect to see a traditional sparkling in my glass, but not yet, not here and not today. The acidity is good with notes of apple ruling the roost. Simple and very tasty.  
SOLD OUT - Rating: *** ½

Closson Chase 2020 Chardonnay, Vineyard
A very mineral and citrus version of the Closson Chase Vineyard Chardonnay, with notes of pith, acidity and fresh apples. Based on the vintage, I expected more concentration of flavour, but they've managed to tone things down a bit.  
SOLD OUT - Rating: *** ½+

Colchester Ridge (CREW) 2020 Chardonnay
Crisp and clean, but overall, one dimensional as Chardonnays go. Simple, easy drinking - but is that what you want in Chardonnay? If it is, pull up a glass.  
SOLD OUT - Rating: ***+

Flat Rock Cellars 2021 Chardonnay – Fermentation Trials: Delta vs VL2 Flat Rock
Here Flat Rock is playing with Chardonnay and different yeast strains to see what difference they make in the finished wines. For my taste buds, Delta was underwhelming, bosc pear skin with an underlying bitterness; it's not Flat Rocks best, nor is it the first wine I'd reach for: maybe the third or fourth bottle in an evening. VL2 is better, fresher, fruitier, livelier: peach and apple with a nice mouth feel and some nectarine on the finish. A nice experiment and a real learning experience.
Delta: ***+
VL2: Rating: *** ½+

Flat Rock Cellars 2021 Chardonnay (Foundation)
It's hard to match the beauty that was 2020 and sold like hotcakes. Could the 2021 have used some extra time, maybe? But nothing we can do about it now but taste it and get on with it. 2021 was a tough Ontario vintage – but Chardonnay is a tough Ontario grape and here it has peach and apple that co-mingle, though a little on the lean side. Decent acidity and it’s saved by a nice lemon zest finish.  
Price: $21.95 - Rating: *** ½+

Flat Rock Cellars 2019 Riesling (Foundation)
The Rock knows Riesling, and this 2019 is a wonderful example: good acidity, minerality and lovely green apple. Its simplicity is what makes it so tasty.  
SOLD OUT - Rating: *** ½+

Flat Rock Cellars 2020 Red Twisted
Bright red cherry with a cranberry backing – I think this might be one of the better Red Twisted’s I've tasted, or has been made in quite some time ... It's fresh, juicy and has good acidity.
Price: $19.95 - Rating: *** ½+

Greenlane 2015 Blanc de Blanc Brut
A traditional method Chardonnay with a vintage date ... Nice. Apple and yeast right from the get-go. That bready note continues on the palate with citrus soaked apple notes also making an appearance. Refreshingly tasty and a good effort from Greenlane.  
SOLD OUT - Rating: *** ½+

Henry of Pelham 2020 Riesling, Estate
Good acidity balances this out with its big minerality and talc and green apple and citrus fruit.  
SOLD OUT - Rating: *** ½+

Henry of Pelham 2021 Riesling
An easy drinking Riesling that's soft and gentle with a subtle sweetness. Comes across a little flat with gentle citrus and some minerality – but for acidity I give it a C+.  
SOLD OUT - Rating: *** ½

Henry of Pelham 2021 Pinot Noir Henry of Pelham
Bright colour, decent acidity, good fruit with notes of cherry and cranberry; it's pretty basic, but in a good way.  
Price: $17.95 - Rating: *** ½

Henry of Pelham, 2021 Cabernet-Merlot
A different year for making wine, and that’s putting it nicely. Juicy red berries with an interesting nose that throws off some rather “funky” fragrances; but the palate is good and the wine really is drinkable. Let's hope that the nose irons itself out.  
SOLD OUT - Rating: ***

Henry of Pelham 2019 Cabernet-Merlot, Speck Family Reserve
Deep rich notes of black cherry, cassis and as expected lots of acidity – it was that kind of year. There is also a little cigarette ash sitting around on the finish.  
SOLD OUT - Rating: *** ½

Henry of Pelham 2021 Baco Noir
As much as I hope and pray that Baco will disappear from the Ontario wine scene, Henry of Pelham keeps showing me they at least they are willing to bear the flag for this grape ... This one has typical notes of vanilla, coffee bean and mocha - almost gives off that mass produced zin-like character with its sweet dark fruit intermingling with the other notes mentioned above. This will once again make Henry of Pelham Baco fans very happy.  
SOLD OUT - Rating: *** ½+

Hinterbrook 2021 Sparkling Firefly
This Charmat method bubble is made for the bachelorette crowd in mind - or those just getting introduced to bubbles. Sweet, tutti-frutti notes are the mainstay here. It's a fun frolic into the bubbly world.  
SOLD OUT - Rating: ***+

Hinterbrook 2017 Merlot
As part of the unnamed reserve lineup, this Merlot is quite yummy. Lots of blueberry, mocha and cassis, join hands with coffee bean, black cherry and smoke. Something for a few years in the cellar – but also drinks well now.  
SOLD OUT - Rating: *** ½

Hinterbrook 2016 Trinity
The Trinity here refers to the 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 30% Merlot and the minimal, but still effective 3% Cabernet Franc. It's barrel aged 24 months in 83% French and 17% of American oak with a whopping 67% new wood. With that much new this wine is sure to need some time; combine that with a 2016 super vintage and you have a cellar-dweller for sure. Smoky blackberry, mocha, black cherry and woodsy notes appear intermittently ... The wine is still a baby and should resolve itself within the next two to three years.
SOLD OUT - Rating: *** ½

Huff 2021 Pinot Gris, Buried Vine
Nice acidity with some grapefruit pith, but there's very little else to get excited about here. It certainly is an easy sipper.  
SOLD OUT - Rating: *** +

Huff 2021 The Weekender
Subtle lemon-lime with a refreshing summer day sipping vibe ... It's a Pinot Gris, Viognier, Riesling blend that has a place on the patio.  
Price: $19.00 - Rating: *** ½

Huff 2020 Cabernet Franc, Old Vines - South Bay Vineyards
Here you'll find some tobacco and black raspberry, along with some spice and decent acidity.  
SOLD OUT - Rating: *** ½+

Huff 2021 Gamay, By the Bay
Plenty of sour fruit with notes of peppery goodness ... Easy to drink with decent acidity backing it up. Perfectly acceptable.  
SOLD OUT - Rating: ***+

Huff 2018 Cuvee Peter F Huff
This 24-month on lees, traditional bubble, has those apple and biscuit notes with a touch of almond, some brioche and a hint of grapy-ness which manages to detract a little from the experience.  
SOLD OUT - Rating: *** ½

Huff 2020 Chardonnay, Catharine’s
A gentle Chardonnay with mineral, lime and toasted butterscotch notes. It has a creamy mid and a burnt butter finish – it is tasty, I'll give it that.  
SOLD OUT - Rating: *** ½+

Icellars 2019 Chardonnay Icellars
Still trying to find their way with Chardonnay, but always producing something delicious. The ‘19 version is rich and buttery with a decent acid punch – layer in some apple cobbler and oak and this one drinks well and for a couple more years.  
Price: $39.82 - Rating: *** ½+

Jackson-Triggs 2017 Entourage Grand Reserve Brut
Smelling biscuity and smoky with almondine right out of the bottle and into the glass. The bubbles are fine, as expected in traditional method, with bread crust and lemon curd nuances.  
Price: $49.95 - Rating: *** ½+

KacabaKacaba 2019 Cabernet Franc - Escarpment
Smoky, blackberry and cassis takes center stage on this Cabernet Franc; then in sweeps tobacco and a herbaceous character with that smokiness that reintroduces itself on the finish.  
Price: $33.15 - Rating: *** ½

Kacaba 2021 Riesling Reserve
An odd note of gooseberry slips in here; it’s dry with mainly peach and apple notes – but it's like some Sauvignon Blanc slipped into the tank as well.  
Price: $21.15 - Rating: *** ½

Malivoire 2020 Chardonnay Estate
There’s a good hit of vanilla here with plenty of fruit: apple, apricot and peach. It's a tasty little number that offers up decent value for Chardonnay lovers.  
SOLD OUT - Rating: *** ½

Malivoire 2019 Gamay Courtney
Sour cherry, white pepper and good acidity ... A few sips go by and it's both juicy and peppery - that acidity really carries this one - not surprising based on the ‘19 vintage, which is known for its bracing acidity.  
Price: $77.00 / 1.5L - Rating: *** ½+

Malivoire 2019 Farmstead Red, Stouck Vineyard
Spending 16 months in a mix of French and American oak barrels: 15% of which are new. A blend of 57% Merlot and 43% Cabernet Sauvignon that has good acidic punch. Cranberry and sour cherry fruit party it up with blueberry skin, dark cherries, cassis, and smoke; and it's a food friendly red that will get you through to 2020 is ready.  
SOLD OUT - Rating: *** ½+

Peninsula Ridge 2021 Chardonnay Inox
Crisp and light Chardonnay with a clean, easy drinking palate – pretty much what you'd expect from stainless steel, unoaked Chardonnay. Touch of minerality with apple and apricot fruit.  
SOLD OUT - Rating: *** ½

Peninsula Ridge 2019 Cabernet Merlot
There's a subtle sweetness to the fruit here with a juicy mid-palate that mingles both red and black fruit together, backed by good acidity. A really good house red based on a price.  
SOLD OUT - Rating: *** ½+

Peninsula Ridge 2021 Sauvignon Blanc
Fresh and lively with peachy notes and a palate that plays in the realm of grapefruit cocktail.  
SOLD OUT - Rating: *** ½+

Pillitteri 2018 Cabernet Franc, Caretto Series
It's a basic Franc that has notes of tobacco, subtle, raspberry and even some cigar box.  
SOLD OUT - Rating: *** ½

Pillitteri 2017 Merlot, Caretto Series
Merlot is one of life's little pleasures when made well. Here, Pillitteri has crafted a juicy red fruited number that also doles out smoke. It's playful in the mouth and shows potential for aging with its nice acid core.  
SOLD OUT - Rating: *** ½+

Rockway 2022 Charmat
This is a non-offensive, pleasant, easy drinking bubble made from Riesling. Plenty of orchard fruit: bosc pear, unripened peach with a dry hit on the finish.  
Price: $25.00 - Rating: *** ½

Rosehall Run 2020 Chardonnay, St. Cindy Unfiltered Rosehall Run
This is an in-your-face Chardonnay and it's not typical Prince Edward County.It’s for those that like them ballsy, buttery, oaky, spicy, with big vanilla and even some apple cobbler.
Price: $74.00 - Rating: *** ½

Speck Brothers 2021 Pinot Noir, The Boxers Ghost - Family Tree
A new addition to the Family Tree lineup and it's a worthy addition: lots of cranberry and black cherry with a little light mocha on the finish. It's pretty with a nice length and a juicy middle.  
Price: $19.95 - Rating: *** ½+

Speck Brothers 2020 Pinot Noir, Three of Hearts
Not just Rose anymore, Three of Hearts has added Pinot to the portfolio. A pleasurable one with blueberry, raspberry and strawberry fruit and a touch of spice with a long tannin push at the end. Fresh and tasty.  
SOLD OUT - Rating: *** ½+

Speck Brothers 2020 Cabernet Merlot, The Padre – Family Tree
Nice ripe red fruit blend with a juicy core, some smoky-vanilla nuances and a strawberry jam like finish - minus the sweetness.  
Price: $17.95 - Rating: *** ½+

Trius 2021 Sauvignon Blanc
This Savvy B rarely disappoints, especially at its price point. This year's version is peach and pink grapefruit with a nice acid hit.  
SOLD OUT - Rating: *** ½+

Westcott logoWestcott 2021 Chardonnay Reserve
There's a nice butterscotch and vanilla start to this Chardonnay, then comes the nectarine, peach and gentle spices – all with a good length right to the finish and beyond.  
Price: $50.00 - Rating: *** ½+

Westcott 2018 Pinot Noir Estate
This Vinemount Ridge Pinot has all the trappings of good Pinot Noir – it's pretty with good acidity, sour cherry, cranberry and a nice medium length finish.  
SOLD OUT - Rating: *** ½

Westcott 2019 Pinot Noir Estate
This Pinot Noir comes from the Niagara Escarpment appellation, whereas the ‘18 was Vinemount; but a very different vintage. This one's more lively, more juicy with good acidity and plenty of lovely fruit characteristics: blueberry, black sour cherry, spiced cranberry and a long finish.  
SOLD OUT - Rating: *** ½+


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