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24 VINTAGES

Norm Hardie

is a dyed-in-the-wool

champion of Pinot Noir who makes wines

from both Niagara and Prince Edward

County. His Niagara version is sourced

from four vineyard sites across the

Peninsula, each contributing layers of

complexity and character, and the wine is

aged in French oak for nine months before

it’s bottled unfined and unfiltered. The

2016 vintage was an exceptionally dry

year in the Niagara Peninsula, resulting in

what Norm describes as a beautifully

feminine wine.

The remaining three wines featured here

are all from the slightly warm, slightly wet,

yet essentially classic 2013 vintage and

are grown on different parts of Niagara’s

limestone-rich bench, offering a fantastic

opportunity for comparative tasting.

Kew Vineyards

’ Pinot Noir is grown on

their estate vineyard on Beamsville Bench,

a section of the Niagara Escarpment that

tends to produce particularly elegant,

mineral Pinot. Winemaker Philip Dowell

ages the wine for 12 months in French oak,

giving it a soft mouthfeel and velvety finish.

Husband-and-wife team David Johnson

and Louise Engel of

Featherstone

make

their Pinot Noir from fruit grown on their

farm on Twenty Mile Bench, a section of

the Niagara Escarpment with plenty of sun

exposure that creates quite intense,

mineral Pinot. The 10 months this wine

spent in French oak rounds it out nicely.

Across the Niagara River from the

Escarpment region proper, yet still on the

bench itself, is where Kevin Panagapka of

2027 Cellars

sources the fruit for his

Queenston Road Vineyard Pinot Noir. The

vineyard is in St. David’s Bench, a mild,

lake-breezy appellation that consists of

gently sloping vineyards rising towards the

escarpment within the Niagara-on-the-Lake

region. St. David’s Bench produces balanced,

mineral Pinot with depth of character. This

wine spent 18 months in Burgundian French

oak, bringing smoothness and shading.

LOCAL

TALENT