Memories of TasteCamp North are slowly fading, but there are still so many things I didn’t get a chance to talk about, such as the grand tasting at Vineland. Several wineries participated and we wandered from table to table equipped with a wine glass and spit cups. I didn’t manage to get around to all the tables, unfortunately, but here are a few highlights from what I did try:
Henry of Pelham, Baco Noir, 2008: An unusual wine made from a unique grape. Tasted of dill, vegetal notes, and red fruit with high acidity and light body.
Hidden Bench, Felseck Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2008: A nice Pinot in a more vegetal style.
Peninsula Ridge Estate Winery, Wismer Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2010: Young, refreshing, and tasty.
Angel’s Gate Winery, Mountain View Pinot Noir 2008: Smooth, easy drinking with notes of forest floor, earth, and wet leaves. Lots of character.
Fielding Estate Winery, Riesling 2010: My note just says “like this one”.
Greenlane Estates Winery, Old Vines Riesling 2010: An interesting Riesling by a brand-new winery. I would be very interested in checking out their wines a couple of vintages down the road.
With the taste and hue of a Cabernet Sauvignon icewine still on my lips, I got back on the bus and we headed to Flat Rock Cellars. At Flat Rock, perhaps anticipating the fact that we would arrive near the end of two days of straight tastings, Ed Madronich and Ross Wise had set up a little wine geek game for us, which was great fun. We were split into three groups. At the first station, we were faced with three anonymous samples of Chardonnay from three different oak barrels. We were given a set of criteria about the samples, including whether they were aged in new or old oak, the level of toast on the barrels, and whether the wine was fermented with wild or cultivated yeast. Then the trick was to guess which was which. At the second station, we had a sample of a blended wine (Flat Rock’s Twisted), and then samples made from the three grapes composing the blend: Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Chardonnay. We had to guess the percentage of each grape variety in the blend.
Flat Rock is an innovative winery, challenging conventions. For instance, they decided to bottle their sparkling wine with a bottle cap, and even managed to change the local VQA regulation so this would be allowed by law in Ontario. Their wine “The Rogue,” a white (!) Pinot Noir, celebrates their “rogue” nature.
Later Ed Madronich announced the winner of the wine tasting quiz. It was…me! Not sure how that happened. Ed presented me with a bottle of Flat Rock’s Riddled sparkling wine, which I recently enjoyed with some friends. It’s a ripe, tasty, refreshing bubbly – perfect for drinking on a rooftop terrace, which we did.