Saturday, April 23, 2011

2000 Niagara-on-the-Lake

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2000 Southbrook Triomphe Chardonnay, VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake

Look at that, I didn't know you could label a wine as NOTL. In any case, the wine behind the labels pretty special too. And why is this, and the 2005 Marqués de Murrieta, all in the dark? We were celebrating Earth Hour at home - we went all radical with it and turned the lights off the entire night. Couldn't see a damn thing, somewhat taking the charm away from drinking an older Niagara white wine like this. Indulging of the eyes is, after all, a pleasure.

I bought this from the winery. I made my first visit in March, incidentally on a work-related trip to Niagara. Beautiful facility, which should even be more spectacular in the summer when they let the sheep out to graze the vineyards. What I thought to be a somewhat unexceptional producer surprised me with its philosophy towards chardonnay in particular. Everyone knows the owner of Southbrook as the person spearheading the recent Cool Climate Chardonnay tastings, and this summer's I4C event. This isn't just rabble-rousing . . . Southbrook has the wines to back it up.

The producer has a policy of holding vintages back, and releasing it upon maturity. The most recent is this, the 2000 chardonnay from their Triomphe lineup. I wasn't expecting much when we tasted at the winery, but I was instantly taken by this wine. White truffles, creamy chardonnay fruit, mature but still energetic. Delicious in fact, and gives an interesting insight into how Niagara wines can age. It is oaky though, and I have a few bottles put away, to see if the oak will further develop and integrate. A very, very interesting wine.

DF

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