Monday, March 23rd, 2009
Spring is here, and over the last week I’ve had the pleasure to host a couple of fun and lively tasting sessions. It was a welcome break from pruning to be joined by groups of both wine “lovers” and wine “makers”, respectively, for a tour of our barn and a taste through the Five Rows portfolio. I have to admit that I still get butterflies when pouring our wines for those who have yet to try them, and I don’t think that will change anytime soon.
I like to use these tastings to gauge the general vibe that people are getting from our winery, and based on our first few sessions the feedback has been tremendous. It excites me that our new friends really get what we are trying to do and often express a desire to lend a hand in the vineyard sometime next season. I’m hoping they all realize that I just might have to take them up on that offer!
I’m finding that each tasting takes on its own dynamic, which keeps me on my toes and very engaged. Often times I like to slip in a new barrel blend that I’ve been working on, as this is a great way to get valuable opinions directly from the people that matter…the wine buyers. Despite subjecting my guests to this “guinea pig” treatment, I’ve yet to receive any complaints.
For example, I’m always trying to fine-tune our 2007 Pinot Noir by experimenting with different amounts of 2008 Pinot as part of the blend. As a rule, we are allowed to blend up to 15% of different vintages into a single varietal wine. The potential marriage of these two vintages is very intriguing. The 2007 Pinot abounds with tannin, colour, and bold “new world” flavours, while the 2008 is more reminiscent of a classic Lowrey Pinot; subtle, elegant and classically Burgundian. To date I’ve experimented with 5-10% of the 2008 in the blend, and results have been mixed. Some loved it, some wanted more 2008, and some felt that it is simply too early to evaluate the potential of the 2007 alone. I tend to fall into the latter category, so perhaps I’ll stop bugging the Pinot and let it do it’s thing for a little while longer.
To our friends in Niagara-On-The-Lake: we are pleased to announce that you can now enjoy our 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon at the historic Charles Inn.