Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A week of Ontario wine…day 3

The third day of wine tastings featuring Ontario wineries saw a new type of winery and the furthest south winery in Prince Edward County meeting in one room. Nyarai Cellars (pronounced na-rye) is a virtual winery – they do not have a tasting room and all of their sales come from their online store through their website. Long Dog Winery, in Prince Edward County, is the furthest south in the County making some great wines with interesting names.

Nyarai Cellars 2007 Chardonnay
$16.20 per bottle
This was the first wine Nyarai Cellars produced and unlike most Chardonnay’s it has a very quiet yet pleasant aroma. It is mostly tropical fruit but there is an apple component to it underlying the predominant banana aroma. There is a slight creaminess to the flavour mixing in with apple and a toffee caramel finish. A very pleasant alternative to typical Chardonnay’s coming from Ontario wineries.

Nyarai Cellars 2008 Sauvignon Blanc
$18.20 per bottle
Nyarai Cellars is gaining a name for their Sauvignon Blanc and it is easy to see why. Already an award winner, you can see the real potential this wine has to become one of the best Sauvignon Blanc’s being produced by an Ontario winery. There are great aromatics on this wine – tons of tropical fruit but with a hint of citrus. The flavours are not too strong but definitely not weak either. Loads of honey and roasted fruit with a slightly lingering finish. All around, this is a very pleasant, easy drinking wine and it shows the real potential this winery has over the years to come.

Long Dog Winery “Tumbling Stone” Gamay/Pinot Noir
$22 per bottle
This wine is technically a non-vintage due to the fact that it is a combination of the 2007 Gamay Noir and the 2006 Pinot Noir from Long Dog Winery. What intrigued me the most from this wine is the really intense colour – it is almost a tourmaline pink. The aromatics are barely there but when they come through they are interesting – spice, herbal and very faint fruit are the main components. When you take your first sip, you can tell that this is a very, very quiet wine – the flavours are barely there. Where it hits is your mid palate where the main flavours are vegetal and spicy. This is definitely one of those wines that will improve with age – say 2-3 years.

Long Dog Winery “Francesca” 2007 Pinot Gris
$34 per bottle
This is possibly one of the most unique Pinot Gris wines I have tasted from an Ontario winery. They tell me that it had extended skin contact which may account for the lovely aromatics going on in this glass. The aromas are a combination of peach, nectarine, lemon, lime and slight orange. The flavours sneak up on you – it is watery first but then major minerality and lemony crispness jump up and bite you soon after that first sip. There is a hint of spice on the finish which is long and lingering.

Long Dog Winery “Otto” 2007 Pinot Noir
$50 per bottle
This is Long Dog’s signature wine and with what I just tasted it is not much of a surprise that it is. There is an absolutely gorgeous dark purple colour in this glass and wonderful aromatics pouring out. Mostly vegetal and herbal in nature but with some floral all of which continue on to the palate where you also find a spicy backbone from the time the wine spent in oak barrels. The palate is silky smooth, has a good backbone and a lingering finish. I do not normally describe a Pinot Noir as yummy – normally that would be a Shiraz or Zinfandel – but this wine definitely fits into the yummy category.

If you are interested in getting your hands on any of these wines, please contact the wineries using the ordering information below:

Nyarai Cellars
Phone: (905) 562-5214
Fax: (905) 562-3999

Long Dog Winery
Phone: (613) 476-4140

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