- APPELLATION : VQA Niagara Peninsula
- VINEYARD(S): AJ Lepp, Whitty Vineyards
- GRAPE VARIETY(IES) : 100% Pinot Noir
- BRIX AT HARVEST: 22.5
- ALCOHOL CONTENT: 13.0%
- RESIDUAL SUGAR: 3 grams – Dry
This expressive Pinot Noir offers notes of ripe red berries, cherry and dark fruit. The oak aging has added notes of vanilla, anise and earthy clove spice. Firm and structured on the palate with a core of ripe fruity richness and fine tannins around a spine of Niagara acidity.
Serve this wine at 14-16 degrees in large, Burgundy-style glasses with classic pairings such as roasted game or duck breast, rich pork or poultry preparations. Certainly enjoyable on release but will further develop complexities over medium-term cellaring.
The fruit for this wine was picked over four separate dates mainly from the AJ Lepp vineyard in Niagaraon-the-Lake with a small percentage from the younger vines at the Whitty Vineyard to the south of the winery on 4th Avenue. Each block was hand-picked into small bins and after sorting were destemmed and crushed lightly before fermentation in open top stainless steel tanks. Punching down occurred for the duration of the primary fermentation and then all the AJ Lepp blocks were moved to a mix of 1rst, 2nd and 3rd fill French oak from five different cooperages, whilst the small batch from the Whitty Vineyard remained in tank. Full malo was completed in barrel followed by ageing on fine lees over 18 months. Winemaker JP Colas sampled all barrels and assembled the final blend which was bottled immediately after a light fining and filtration.
The 2012 grape vintage in Niagara was exceptional from pretty much every point of view. Adequate heat, sunshine and a general lack of precipitation through the late spring pretty much all the way through the extended harvest meant sugar levels were high, tannins fully ripe and flavours nicely developed.