Tuesday, September 13, 2011

checking up on the 2006's

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Much has been written about Le Clos Jordanne, by better and more articulate people. I just want to write about what these wines mean to me.

Le Clos Jordanne, as you all know, is one of the most highly-regarded, if not the most highly publicized Niagara wine. A lot of digital ink has been devoted to its story, how the French came with their money, how its just like a Burgundian domaine in both vineyard and production, about how just this past year they changed the winemaker. Right. I'd heard about this producer in mid/late 2007, just in time for its 2005 vintage release. Alas, being in school and in little Waterloo, I had no chance of picking up any bottles. I drove all over Waterloo, even to Kitchener - of the outlets that received an allocation, all had sold out nearly instantly. Funny, imagining the hock-eating tri-city connoisseur, but that's what it was. It wasn't until late 2008, when the 2006 vintage was released, that I finally got my bottles. I picked up all the 2006's with the exception of the Le Grand Clos bottlings for both chardonnay and pinot noir. Something about paying $65+ for any wine that makes my ass chap.

They've been sleeping for nearly 3 years now, and I probably would have left them along longer if I hadn't tasted the 2006 Le Clos Jordanne Le Grand Clos Pinot Noir in May. In the glass, it looked orange, saturation fading out. Dried fruits on the nose, with the palate limping along badly. It was clearly time to start drinking. So, a bottle of each cuvée out the cellar, and with perfect timing too - we had family over. The three 2006 chardonnays I had planned for our Saturday barbecue. We'd begin grilling at 4, eating and drinking and talking well into the night.

I've got so much love for Niagara, but you have to have a balanced perspective with wine. Yes, LCJ has got so much potential, but for pundits to proclaim its greatness so soon, with so few vintages in the cellar? A bit premature, wouldn't you say? That's my purpose for this horizontal tasting of the 2006's. Being one of the earlier vintages gives an interesting look at the vineyards, but it should by no means be a definitive portrayal of the producer's true quality. Vines are just too young. So I'm trying to keep a clear perspective, and taking it for what it is - a piece of Niagara history, when dreamers came together and decided there was potential in the rolling hills of the Niagara Escarpment.

DF

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