2018 Accolades

2018 2027 Cellars Chardonnay Wismer Vineyard — Fox Croft Block

I don’t know what more I can say about this bottling that I haven’t said before. The 2027 version of this same wine was Wines In Niagara’s Most Thrilling White Wine of 2018 and has never strayed far from the top of that list in the 10 years that Kevin Panagapka has made it from the same vineyard. He blew this wine through Vintages stores, at $23 a bottle, so quickly that consumers had trouble getting some. Don’t be that person now that it has hit shelves this spring. This follows closely to all the other vintages of this wine and is made similar to all the others — 100% whole cluster pressed, wild fermented, wild malo with 100% French oak aging (20%, new oak). It’s a beautiful wine with a nose fresh pear, quince, nougat/toasted almond, gunflint, lemon and elegant oak spice that only builds in intensity as you come back to it. It’s certainly fresh and lively on the palate, but showing more concentration of layered pear/apple fruit and zesty citrus to go with light, toasted spices, flinty minerality, salinity and finesse through a long, long finish. So youthful right now and a definite candidate for the cellar, say 5+ years. Another superstar from 2027.

Score: 94 Points

Rick VanSickle, winesinniagara.com, May 20, 2020


2018 Wismer-Foxcroft “Nord” Chardonnay, VQA Twenty Mile Bench

Tasting Note: “If ever a nose was oyster shell, this is it! Mineral from the get-go, this astounding terroir came into its own in 2018, delivering a wine that makes you slowly shake your head and wonder what the hell winemaking had to do with it! So much Dolomitic limestone in the mouth that if I close my eyes – I am in the Italian alps near Bolzano in the Alto Adige, tasting their fabulous Chardonnays.

God Bless the ancient Canadian glaciers and their random, holy work… tasting their movement now through Chardonnay grapes grown on that eroded Vineland Bench hillside…one kind of has to be in awe of nature. This Wismer-Foxcroft is bone, bone, Beaune-dry yet the incredible weight is held effortlessly, keeping the is wine firmly with the fairies, with the Ballerinas and their incredible carriage and posture. A truly Crunchy limestone finish – is this the Oyster shells again? By God, how can some people not believe in minerality, terroir?  I do not know when or if we will next be called in to assist at the birth of another Wismer-Foxcroft ‘Nord’ so true, so focussed. This, truly, is a wine to stick in the cellar and pretend to “lose” the key. A wine of discipline and joy!” – Thomas

1392 Bottles produced.

Bachelder, 2018 Wismer-Foxcroft “Nord” Chardonnay, VQA Twenty Mile Bench


2018 Bachelder Wismer-Foxcroft Nord Chardonnay

One of the highlights of the new on-line release of single vineyard wines from veteran wine maker Thomas Bachelder, the Wismer-Foxcroft Nord selection is produced from vines planted in 1993. This is made in the rich, ripe style that Bachelder is known for, wth ripe citrus and buttery notes nicely balanced by vibrant acidity, minerality and lingering, refreshing finish. Despite the warmth of the vintage, this is classic and age worthy. Drink now to 2028. Available direct through

Score: 93



2018 Bachelder Chardonnay – Wismer Foxcroft “Nord”

A pretty version of Chardonnay that hits all the right notes on both the aromas and flavours scale … Notes of vanilla, banana, apple with a good hit of spice … The mid-palate shows off a creamy texture but finishes with good minerality and acidity so that it comes across more refreshing than full-bodied.

Rating: ****

Michael Pinkus Wine Review


2018 Bachelder Wismer-Wingfield “Ouest” Chardonnay, VQA Twenty Mile Bench

Tasting Note: “The nose is so fine as to be almost glassine – transparent, complex and fine blend of subtle forest flowers, a honeysuckle-spearmint complex of spiced stone fruit; an intoxicating but still-mute nose with a broad, fine-silked mid-palate leading to a chalky finish most surprisingly subtle, fine for the warmer year.” – Thomas

1632 Bottles produced.


2018 Bachelder Wismer Wingfield Ouest Vineyard Chardonnay

Another brilliant expression of the Wismer Wingfield Ouest (western portion) of the Wismer vineyard on the Twenty Mile Bench, this is rapidly becoming one of my top crus in Ontario for chardonnay, if based on Bachelder’s expressions alone. This warm vintage 2018 hits a lovely note of refreshing salinity and the energy and vibration of the mother rock, with a striking salinity, and succulent acids. There’s no wood to speak of, and the fruit takes an effortless route across the palate, neither forward nor backwards, contained, never billowing, yet never extinguished. And the finish lingers on and on. Just an exceptional wine yet again.

Score – 95

John Szabo, MS, winealign.com, Feb. 9, 2021


2018 Wismer-Parke “Wild West End” Pinot Noir, VQA Twenty Mile Bench

Tasting Note: “A deeper, intense ruby colour, the “Wild West End” is a big wine: iron-laced and deep yet still red-scented dark brambly fruit with top anise notes frame this intense, yet still medium-bodied wine with incredible energy and drive. The ‘Wild West End’ finishes long with dark fruit and hung game notes. Incredible. It is Wild and it is West, and it is named for an evocative Dire Straits song that was important in my musical development.” – Thomas

600 Bottles produced.


2018 Bachelder Pinot Noir, Wismer-Parke “Wild West End”

Thomas B has released a second wave of wines in 2020, the “Toussaints” release (all saints) is the single vineyard, or what Thomas likes to call his “Cru” wines. “Wild West” is a small grouping of vines planted in 1999 on the Wismer-Parke property. This is the brother to the other Wismer-Parke release, but it’s more muscular, deeper (in both color and flavour) with black cherry, dark cranberry and blackberry with a little smoky and a savory kick. The finish is silky across the palate and ends with some sweet cherry and strawberry. A hedonistic Pinot Noir that should spend a few years in the cellar, but it probably won’t.

Rating: ****+


2018 Bachelder Gamay Noir “Les Villages”

A blend of 3 vineyards, two within Wismer-Foxcroft and one from Willms aged 14 months in older oak barrels with approximately 12% whole cluster pressings. This is the Bachelder light and easy version of Gamay that requires little to no thought, a half hour fridge-resting and a glass to gulp it from. Fruit forward with sour cherry and strawberry notes, subtle spice a la white pepper and really good acidity.

Rating: ****


2018 Bachelder Gamay Noir, Wismer-Foxcroft

I’ll come right out and say this – my favourite of Bachelder’s four 2018 Gamays – here’s why: there’s a richness and finesse to this wine – it deserves study, but it is also highly drinkable. Smoky, earthy, and peppered-strawberries kick things off adding red currant, blueberry, cassis and a pretty floral element. It mixes dark fruit with red fruit and is further complemented by its darker, richer colour … and there’s even hints of fresh cigar on the finish. Specs also detail wild ferment, 14 months in neutral oak, later harvest and 52% whole cluster pressing (as stated on the label) – results speak for themselves. A complex Gamay that proves to be a true Niagara Cru.

Rating: **** ½



2018 Bachelder Gamay Noir, Niagara Cru Wismer-Foxcroft

Thomas B. thinks this is his definitive “Niagara Cru” for 2018 – using 22% whole cluster with 14 months in neutral oak from vines planted in 1990 on the ‘western side’ of the Wismer Foxcroft vineyard. Rich red fruit and floral, plus black cherry, balsamic strawberry, earthy notes, violets, subtle smoke, pepper and a long finish … there even appears to be a little red currant action when the wine stays in glass for a spell. A gulpable Gamay, but with class.

Rating: ****



2018 Trail Estate Barrel Ferment Riesling Foxcroft

Wine Align Rating: 92