2009 Charles Baker Picone Vineyard Riesling, Vinemount Ridge
There's certainly lots of chauvinism about wines I think of as my own - that is, Niagara grown and Niagara produced, wines that I have somewhat of an understanding. Having met with Charles Baker a few times and getting to know the story behind these single vineyard rieslings, I feel an obligation to urge people to support these wines, because if we don't, who will? There's a fine line between being justified and being straight delusional about Niagara wines, but if you have any love at all for DF and what I've been doing for the past 4 years, you'll know that when I'm enthusiastic about a wine, it's because the wine genuinely excites me.
2009 is a very interesting vintage. It's not surprising that worldwide, references to great vintages are always based on the quality of red wines. Why no love for white wines? Why is there a lack of understanding, or respect, to vintage conditions that favour white wines? In Niagara, 2009 is one of those vintages. I remember late that year when a few self-promoting, self-proclaimed critics were already commenting on the mediocrity of the wines. Keep in mind, that what you taste from tank or barrel is just a sample - it can hardly be considered wine. And that's assuming that any one of these twats actually tasted anything. Supremely disappointing, but now that the wines have been bottled and are on the market, it's becoming quite clear; while the reds don't have the concentration of the 2007's, they do show great typicity and elegance. And the whites are just glorious. A difficult vintage, yes, but the best rieslings and chardonnays show a purity and focus that I have never tasted from Niagara.
Picone Vineyard seems to be great at producing extracted rieslings, although CB always ensures it stays balanced. This vintage shows a bit more depth, more extract of the acidity compared to 2008, especially on the finish. Well structured and needing some age, but very promising.
Exciting. Very exciting indeed. Let's get it going, we need to support CB and we need to support our Niagara producers who are the real deal. The production of the 2009 was almost half that of 2008 - hurry and you might still be able to secure a 6-pack. And if this bottle doesn't convince you of what's going on here, straight up and down, you shouldn't be drinking wine you dumbass.