As any reader of this highly influential blog will know (insert funny sarcastic font) I have a penchant for Prince Edward County and its wineries. Often I take the quick drive out to the county to try some routine wines and discover a couple that I have not had before.
Our first stop was Huff – nothing new to me, I had been here countless times for both its ambience and frankly for their Merlot. They seem to be one of the few if not the only local vineyard recently who pull this off. But, that wasn’t the goal this time around. I wanted their county Pinot Noir and had to swallow my disappointment when I found that they had long sold out. A good second choice happened to be the 2016 Pinot Noir Reserve but it is from their grapes in Niagara. Not necessarily a bad thing – just not what I really wanted. It is tasty and had that expected berry tartness and earthy-dirty wet rock smell. Honestly it tasted great now but I’m going to put my purchase away for a couple of years for sure – and I am excited to see how it grows. The Riesling was an after thought as we sampled through wines. it was crisp and drier than others I was used to, and very pleasant.
Next, we were off to Stanners which I had only read about and in our countless trips I never stumbled upon this vineyard. regrettably. Wow did I love this place. Obviously a different league altogether than from resort-based vineyards this was the height of artistry. The Pinot Noir I bought (2014) is stellar. It is everything I wanted in a Pinot Noir and more. There are some amazing heavyweights in the county making small batch Pinot Noir and Stanners is among the elite here without a doubt. (On that note, they competed at the Judgement of Kingston and placed third among French Burgundy heavyweights – this speaks volumes to their quality and craftmanship.) I only wish I had discovered them earlier, but they will be a repeat trip.
Lacey caught my eye through some reading one evening before the trip and I was very curious to try their award-winning Cabernet Franc. It’s an incredibly hospitable place and their owners are social media savvy and attentive to requests. I have to say though that while I went for the Cabernet Franc (and it was brilliant) I was really amazed by their Dorland Reserve which contained some of their Cab Franc (30%) but also Cabernet Sauvignon (70%). It was a massively flavourful wine and an award winner in its own right. I am so glad I got to visit them for the first time. While the Cabernet Franc was rated basically a point higher than the Dorland was it really didn’t matter much to me, I think the Dorland is fantastic and hope to get back for more.
Karlo is nothing new to me either and actually it was primarily because Hubbs Creek across the road was closed. (Hubbs is one of my favourites by far and a small batch genius to be frank). Anyway Karlo is always a great spot and a giant variety of wines. They have a spectacular tasting set up both atmosphere-wise and pairing-wise. Also there is a really cool cat that saunters around! I have had many Karlo Estates wines and loved them all. I actually tasted their Marquette which was very interesting and really lovely. But, my instincts were to buy at least a Pinot Noir and their Triumvirate if available. I did in fact get the 2016 Lake on The Mountain Pinot Noir which was very good and entirely local. It will need a couple of years for sure but the base is ridiculously solid. They had their feature Pinot Noir but it was twice the price and I really wanted to grow my county collection basically at the same price point for future comparison. I also got my hands on the Triumvirate which tasted awesome. As its name may sort of suggest it is a blend of three grapes – Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot a nice classic Bordeaux blend – and it pulls it off solidly. While this may enjoy some time in the cellar I think its going to be uncorked a little sooner. It’s that good.