Monday, July 23, 2012

a night of Flat Rock - the pinot noirs

2006 Flat Rock Pinot Noir

2006 Flat Rock Cellars Pinot Noir | VQA Twenty Mile Bench

2005 Flat Rock Gravity Pinot Noir

2005 Flat Rock Cellars Gravity Pinot Noir | VQA Twenty Mile Bench

Tasting Flat Rock

We moved onto the pinot noirs - MY star of the evening, but as these things turn out, my friends all preferred the rieslings. These wines that I've held for some time, that hold a special place in my education as a wino.

The 2005 pinot noir means so much to me. I picked it up in October 2007, that very first visit to Niagara wine country with 2 buddies. I still remember when we rolled into Flat Rock . . . it was drizzling, workers were harvesting the vineyards, and spirits were high. A friend wanted to celebrate her birthday in Niagara. She, along with the rest of our friends, was out in Buffalo shopping but naw, we weren't going to cross the border. No, the 3 of us spent a great day driving around Niagara, tasting at a few wineries, relaxing. And then dinnertime came. An hour passed, then two. No sign of the rest of our group. Three hours on, a call comes in - they're all (about 8 of them) stuck at the border. Just before midnight, when the restaurant is empty, and the kitchen staff is about to bounce . . . they roll in. Finished dinner, and then the plan was for the entire party to move to the casino. This wino, and my two tasting buddies, were absolutely beat, and decided to begin driving back to Toronto. As soon as we get back on the Niagara Parkway . . . bababoom!!! Bababoom!!!!!! Thunder and lightning and the mother of all rainstorms. All power suddenly goes off, and we're high-beaming it the entire time back to the QEW. A great (and very memorable) day in Niagara!!

Right. We started with the 2006 pinot noir. Fading in colour, even under screwcap. Dried fruits, but that warm Niagara clay still comes through. A beauty! The 2005 Gravity is their premium pinot noir, and it shows. A riper vintage, the wine is fresh, and retains a lot of that spice. Great purity, some sweet fruit - an elegant, albeit simple and straightforward Niagara pinot noir.

The night went on, and we moved onto mojitos using the fresh mint from my friend's garden. Refreshing and all kinds of awesome in the summer heat. The night of Flat Rock was a wonderful look at how these humble wines have aged, and under screwcap! Shows that the wines will age under this kind of closure. Flat Rock has always made honest, dependable wines that I think showcase that warmth and spiciness, and that odd stemmy-ness of true Niagara pinot noir. The wines filled out in texture with age, and although they may not necessarily blow anyone's mind away, they are a fabulous representation of what we may look back in 20 years to be the true Niagara character.


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