Monday, September 5, 2011
Tasting 2010 Thirty Bench Wine Makers
Middle of August, we took a day trip to Niagara. Having had bad food poisoning the day before, and thinking of doing a tasting first thing in the morning all of a sudden didn't seem like such a good idea. But you know this wino is all iron stomach and short memory right?
We set off early, but traffic in Toronto this summer has just been an absolute nightmare. Longer than normal drive there, but I went all lead-foot on the throttle as soon as we hit the QEW to make our appointment at Thirty Bench. Fun and all for our guests, but this was an important visit for me - it'd be my first taste of the 2010 rieslings.
2010 was a hot AND dry year, and very exciting for the red wines. If harvested prudently, the whites should be stunning as well. And why should a strong red vintage be mutually exclusive from a white one? Taking a stroll through the vineyard with a glass of riesling was lovely. The merlot vines were going through veraison, the sun was shining bright, and my upset stomach was but a faint memory. We tasted through the entire riesling lineup, beginning with the estate level Winemaker's Riesling, showing lovely citrus with that distinctive linear acidity on the palate. The Wood Post, showing some tropical fruit character. Steel Post, all minerals and tension. Triangle Vineyard a bit closed at this point, but revealing some lanolin minerality, and a delicacy.
Good tasting. Lots of potential. I would have expected a bit more extract, some more degree of ripeness from the perception of what this vintage is like. I'll have a much better idea in a few weeks when I taste more 2010's, in barrel and in bottle. Came back with a few bottles.