Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Niagara - December 4, 2009

Stratus

Cabernet franc, still hanging on the vineyards of Stratus

The year is wrapping up, and many of the 2008 Niagara wines have been released, so it was time to go take a look. Along with ROKChoi, I drove down last Friday, on a beautiful, sunny day to visit properties in Beamsville and Niagara Peninsula, with a focus on 2008 rieslings.

It was a great trip. The 2008 rieslings, for the most part, lack the richness and concentration of 2007 (this was expected), but have an elegance and austerity that show off all the virtues of this varietal that I love. Again, we're judging them far too early, but I'm excited to see how this vintage will evolve in the bottle. Some of the 2008 pinot noir we tasted (most still unreleased) showed the perfume and intensity of a great wine.

Time was a bit tight, but we managed. The highlight was our meeting with Charles Baker, who's making an impressive, single-vineyard riesling. This, and our other visits, later.

I bought far more wine than I should have. But it's the holiday season.

DF

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