I've always had a fondness for Lailey. Good values, producing good wines. Their pinot noir has always been one of my favourite Niagara wines, and I still stand by my belief that they are the best Pinot Noir in East Niagara, or the Niagara Peninsula.
I've tasted the 2005, which remains the benchmark for earthy, rustic, and complex Niagara pinot noir. So I was very excited to get my hands on the 2006. This past Saturday, I really couldn't wait - just had to pour myself a glass.
Look at how light the colour is! It's quite clear the influence. This is the kind of restraint and respect to tradition that's really endearing to me. Let's be clear though - this is a tight, and very intense wine.
What a nose. My goodness, what a nose. Aromas of hot clay, earth, and smokiness that combines to create a bouquet that I think is quite unique to Niagara. Reminds me a lot of the 2005 Flat Rock Pinot Noir and the 2004 Iniskillin Montague Estate Pinot Noir. The palate follows with bright, fresh red fruits. Lean though, and tart. Will do better with some aging, although the finish is quite abrupt, which concerns me.
A beautiful wine. Honest, complex. Whether this wine is age-worthy or not is up for me to find out - I still have 3 bottles of the 2005 and one more of the 2006. Is this the taste of Niagara? We'll find out.