2020 Accolades

“In a post this week, Wines In Niagara published a list of 18 top Chardonnays. You get a sense from that list of the vineyards that consistently produce Chardonnays at the upper echelons of quality: Wismer-Wingfield, Wismer Foxcroft, Locust Lane, Rosomel, Le Clos Jordanne, Mottiar, Ravine, Southbrook and Robyn’s Block. Some of these are estate owned and only one producer uses the fruit (Hidden Bench, Les Clos, Malivoire, Ravine and Tawse), but why should that matter? After all, if you use the Bordeaux model, each wine in every classification is singular from the estate vineyard.”

“A couple of examples come to mind. Let’s take the Lowrey Vineyard, that historic property owned by the Lowrey family on the St. David’s Bench with the fruit used to make Pinot Noir by five producers: Five Rows Craft Wine (the family’s own wine), Bachelder, Adamo, Leaning Post and Fielding. There is a beautiful sameness to these wines from the profound terroir of the vineyard. I can easily see the name of the vineyard in bright lights with the producer playing a lesser role. The same holds true with Wismer-Foxcroft. So many wineries are using various plots and even blocks within blocks for their top Chardonnays. Again, there is a sameness, with slightly different styles, within all these Chardonnays if tasted side by side. The vineyard is the star here (no offence to the winemakers intended, it’s not like the wine makes itself).”

Rick VanSickle, winesinniagara.com, May 21, 2020