Saturday, March 10, 2012

a different perspective


2009 Colaneri Estate Winery Corposo | VQA Niagara Peninsula

Does wine-making style ever (or rather, often and in the majority of cases) supersede terroir? Attending a tasting hosted by Colaneri Estate Winery certainly changed my assumption about how wine styles can alter the perception of what a wine's true character is.

It's all about perspective, isn't it. In this case, Andrej was clearly onto something when he decided that making a cabernet wine (50/50 cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon) in the ripasso style would be a success. And it was. In a vintage that yielded some inconsistency, this particular method helped concentrate everything. In Andrej's hands, this wine retained a wonderful freshness and purity, showing beautiful earthiness and a well-extracted palate. With controlled alcohol, this was a genuinely exciting Niagara cabernet.

So is our initial assessment fair? It's become such an utterly useless phrase, this let's let the land speak for itself. Bullshit. What's in the bottle isn't the vineyard. It is what the winemaker interprets the vineyard to be, using this particular varietal, in this particular vintage. In the right hands, true character will always shine. In the New World at least, any suggestion that this is how the wines should be made is pure fallacy.


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