Sunday, June 30, 2013

Tasting at Lailey Vineyard Wines

Tasting with Derek again!

I made what I expect to be my last visit to Lailey for a long, long time. It's been over a year since I was last here, which is criminal. These tastings with Derek are always a highlight of my Niagara trips. I feel like I know Derek's style, the Lailey style - but everytime, there's always a surprise. This time was no different. What more can I say about these wines? They remain a paradigm of elegance, soul, class, and above all, harmony. 

2012 Sauvignon Blanc: A bit grassy, lean and fresh. Really extracted here, wonderful texture. Great ripeness. A blend of 3 vineyards - Lailey, Legends, and Wismer fruit, 60% barrel ferment, 40% in tank. 

2012 Unoaked Chardonnay: Good fruit, fresh and tingly acidity, some lemon citrus.

2011 Brickyard Vineyard Chardonnay: Ripe and rich nose but in control, fresh and waxy. Great elegance, a bit of spice, well extracted.

2011 Pinot Noir: Earthy tar, mushroom, rose and cranberry. Classic here, with some weight. Sour cherry on the palate, great tight tannins. Always one of my favourite wines, a true hallmark of what Niagara pinot noir can be.

2011 3.7 Pinot Noir: A one-off. 2011 didn't produce fruit in either quantity or quality to be bottled as single vineyards, so Derek blended the 3 vineyards (read the label above), compromising a total of 7 barrels. More subtle minerality, good cherry fruit, elegant and lean.

2012 Gewurztraminer: 7 days ferment at 46°F for 3 months on skin contact. The second vintage of this varietal for Derek. Floral and aromatic here, but as Derek says, palate is falling off and slightly under-developed. Would be interesting to see this again in 2-3 years. Low alcohol (for the varietal), giving a distinct and very different character than expected.

2011 Merlot: On the aroma, graphite minerality and dark fruit. Good depth and some sweetness on the palate, tight here. 100% estate fruit, bottled recently.

2011 Cabernet Sauvignon: Slight jamminess here, dark fruit, lean but surprisingly round on the palate. Great tightness on the finish. 100% estate fruit.

2011 Syrah: Slight pepper on the nose, jammy with some sweet fruit and oak. Elegant, soft tannins, showing a more rounded, friendlier style of syrah. A character of the vintage.

2011 Petit Verdot: Yet another surprise varietal. Jammy here, ripe and raisin-y. Almost reminds you of port. Picked at 22.7 brix, nearly 15.5% potential alcohol. Big tannins.

2012 Malbec (from cask): Dark and big at the moment, with good sweet fruit. 120 cases total, with 6 barrels used for blending.


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