JUDGEMENT OF KINGSTON 2017
“When there is plenty of wine, sorrow and worry take wing.” – Ovid
Domaine Thenard, Givry "Cellier aux Moines," 2011, $32.20, 88-91:
From a very old parcel of mixed clay and lime soils, with a southerly exposure. Records for this vineyard date back to 1258. Terrific currant colour with a rich, intense fruit bouquet and aromas of ripe dark berries. This is a velvety Pinot Noir with lots of sweet and pure fruit on the palate. Beautifully balanced, it offers good power, backend persistence, and a lingering finish. An elegant nose featuring aromas of airy and ripe red currant and raspberry along with hints of earth, pepper and soft wood. The equally cool and pure medium-bodied flavours possess both good detail and fine verve, all wrapped in a complex and balanced finish that offers good persistence.
Domaine Drohin Laroze Gevrey Chambertin, 2012: $83.95, 86-91.
Attractive clear ruby. Some game on the nose. Light, elegant, silky feel. Red and black fruit, full of soil, a hint of creosote, mildly tannic. Classic, lighter weight Gevrey Premier Cru for intermediate term consumption. Floral and earthy nose. Earth, liquorice, bright red fruits. A discrete application of wood marries into fresh if very sombre aromas of dark berry fruits and earth. Good energy and detail to the middle-weight flavours that exude a fine minerality on the mildly austere and lingering finish. Medium acid. Medium bodied. Medium length.
Domaine Lucien Jacob, Savigny les Beaunes, “Les Peuillets,” 2012, $68.95:
“Les Peuillets” is a Premier Cru climat of the Savigny-les-Beaune appellation in the Cote de Beaune sub-region of Burgundy. Savigny-les-Beaune Premier Cru wines are those produced under the strictest conditions of the Savigny-les-Beaune appellation from grapes grown within officially classified Premier Cru vineyards. The wines are not only entitled to claim that title but also to include their climat name as part of the appellation. The Savigny-les-Beaune Premier Cru vineyards are located in two distinct groups: one on the south-facing hillside opposite the hill of Corton, the other on the slopes of Mont Battois, immediately between Beaune and Savigny. “Les Peuillets” is situated SE of Savigny-les-Beaune village, on the southern side of the Rhone Valley where it widens onto the plains between Beaune and Corton. Fresh and direct with lovely cherry and plum fruit, supported by spicy aromas. (Bronze Star, International Wine Challenge)
County Pinot Noirs
Closson Chase Churchside Pinot Noir, 2015, $44.95, 89-91:
Winemaker’s Note: Chocolate cherry, floral and spice flavours appear in the glass. Anise and sage with darker fruit in the mouth, round and full with cherry skins, steeped tea tannins, and a long and evolving finish.
David Lawrason (89): This pale ruby-shaded pinot noir from the north block shows a very pretty, lifted nose of strawberry/sour cherry fruit, fine herbs, seedy nuttiness, and fine oak. Fetching complexity. It's light bodied, sour edged, with fine tannin - so typical of the County. And despite all the light touches the flavour length is impressive.
Michael Godel (91): Churchside is without a shadow of an apse’s doubt the brightest, lightest and most buoyantly lifted of the Closson Chase pinot noir. After some vintages in which the extract pushed to the edges of crimson and violet this is such a ripe, vibrant and cherished County expression. The strawberry tart slice of life is a bite into summer open air, afternoon breezes and a daydream look out over gentle rolling limestone landscape. What County pinot noir is all about and how to tell it to the world. Drink 2017-2020.
Stanners Vineyard Barrel Select Pinot Noir, 2014, Silver Award (Decanter World Wine Awards, 2017/All Canadian Wine Championships 2017 – Double Gold Medal), $39:
Winemaker’s Note: Minimal handling in the winery has resulted in a wine reflecting County terroir – intense cherry and blackberry flavours, good minerality, soft tannins and finely balanced acidity.
Michael Godel (91): In the case of the barrel select only estate fruit is used including the oldest (planted in 2005) vines. You might expect an increase in density, extraction or compression but instead there just seems to be more composure and a clearer picture of blue-blood County pinot noir. It also seems like a wine in which something gained is also something lost. While a seamlessness in state of being is a result of even temper and inexcitability the absence of tension counteracts. Sour cherry and right proper tart notes are quite elastic in a loosened, laissez-faire sort of way and the long lingering flavours tell us this will drink nicely for several years. This is truly terrific pinot noir but I can't help but think another year or two of vine age will really take this premium bottling to another level. Drink 2018-2022
David Lawrason (91): This has just a bit more weight and barrelled complexity than the 'regular' County 2014 from Colin Stanners. The kinship is readily apparent but this Barrel Select is a bit more toned down and spiced up, containing that wild sour cherry/currant fruit and minerality. It is perhaps more substantial in feel, somewhat less tart (but still County edgy), more congealed and balanced, but somehow less expressive at the same time. I expect that a couple of years ageing will unlock this more. The wood spice (cedar, clove, toast) rides a tad heavy at the moment. The length is very good to excellent.
Karlo Estates Lake on the Mountain Pinot Noir, 2016, $35