Savvy Selections wine of the month club
featuring Rosehall Run Vineyards
Canada’s wineries delivered to your doorstep
Winemaker and winery owner of Rosehall Run, Dan Sullivan, laughs and shakes his head when Savvy Sommelier Julie Stock asked him about his philosophy to winemaking. “The simple answer is…there isn’t one. Mostly because there is no such thing as a recipe for winemaking – every year is different in the vineyard and the grapes will tell you what kind of wine they will be.” He goes on to explain that winemaking is like shooting footage for a movie with the grapes as the directors - dictating what images to capture. At the core of it all, Dan like all the winemakers that we have featured in the Savvy Selections, he combines the classic fundamentals of Old World vinification methods and winemaking techniques, while farming New World grapes….in his own way.
Julie and her husband Doug (also a Sommelier and a member of the Savvy Team) caught up to Dan at a winemaker’s dinner during the Taste of Winterlude last month. Dan never misses the opportunity to participate in these interactive dinner events. In fact, Savvy Company has hosted three lunches and dinners spotlighting Dan and his wines. “Food and wine events are a more interactive experience rather than the jewelry shop approach commonly taken when people visit a winery. I see it all the time - visitors come in to our winery, sample a taste of wine as if trying on a piece of jewelry and then decide whether to make a purchase. Frankly, you miss out on the opportunity to try and taste many wines and a variety of food that enhances the flavours. By combining wine and food, your taste buds become better educated and you expand your wine knowledge.”
The Savvy Selections tasting panel were provided a dozen Rosehall Run wines to consider for this month’s selection. A majority of the wines have yet to be released – another Savvy Selections subscriber perk! In your delivery this month, you will find:
- Rosehall Run Riesling VQA 2008 – a pre-released wine Dan made with grapes from Niagara
- Rosehall Run Pinot Noir Cuvée County VQA 2008 – you are the first to receive this wine!
- Rosehall Run Cold Creek Cabernet Franc VQA 2007 – a hands down favorite wine
To further enhance your enjoyment of the Rosehall Run wines, in the following pages you will find recipes Julie and our Savvy Selections tasting panel suggested to enjoy with the wines as well as their tasting notes.
Want more wines from Rosehall Run? It is easy – simply call Debbie to arrange an order for you.
Be part of the Savvy Selections Tasting Panel!
You are invited to join Savvy Sommeliers to sip & swirl premium wines from Kacaba Vineyards to help us choose the 3 wines to be featured in the May Savvy Selections. Kacaba is famous for their BIG red wines!
Thursday March 18, 6:30pm
Thyme & Again Creative Catering Photography Gallery, 1255 Wellington St W
Space limited to 10 people - RSVP to Debbie by email
Cheers & Enjoy!
Debbie & Savvy Team
Rosehall Run, Prince Edward County
Presented by Savvy Sommelier Julie Stock
Dan recalled the August long weekend in 2000 when he and his wife Lynn were heading to Prince Edward County and nearly turned back to Toronto because of the heavy traffic on Highway 401. Thankfully for us they didn’t since that was the weekend they found the land on which now grows some award winning wines. Having a healthy regard for the gravelly limestone in the county, Dan knew instinctively this was Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grape growing country.
In the fall of 2001, Dan planted one acre of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the same year he learned to drive the tractor without killing himself, he said laughingly. Not long after, and on another acre he called his “toy box”; he planted Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurtztraminer, Pinot Gris, Gamay, Riesling and Baco Noir grapes.
Dan and Lynn gradually left their home renovation business in Toronto and moved to the County. Grape vines can take four to seven years for fruition, and so by 2003 they had committed to preparing for their second harvest. In 2006, they opened their winery to visitors and they now grow grapes on 23 of their 155 acres.
Learning as you grow…
The large amount of rain presented an imposing challenge in 2006. However, their largest crop of many grape varietals was produced the following year. Dan had tremendous success especially with the Cabernet Franc grapes. Leafy and busy, Dan explained that Cabernet Franc are the most vigorous plant in the vineyard and have to be cut back continually to expose the grapes to the sun thus regulating the grape production. The 2007 Cabernet Franc Cold Creek (included in this month’s Savvy Selections) with its dark berry flavours won the Silver in the Artevino Wine Awards. And yes, a little cold creek runs through the vineyard. The ‘West Vineyard’ as Dan calls it, compromises of 8 acres, produced winners of the Artevino 2007 County Wine awards for the 2005 Chardonnay – gold medal and 2005 Pinot Noir St. Cindy – silver medal.
It was also in 2007 that Prince Edward County received Designated Viticultural Area (DVA) status from the provincial government – putting the County firmly on the wine world map.
Returning to his philosophy on grape growing, Dan said that some years the vines will behave in a certain manner and adjustments have to be made accordingly. Only in the County winemakers practice ‘hilling up’ after the harvest – burying the base of the vines with 2 feet of soil. Then in the first week (or so) of April, the vines are ‘hilled down’ - pulled out from the covering soil, then pruning begins. At any given time there are 7 to 8 people working in Rosehall’s vineyards from April to November. When asked about the time to harvest, Dan said the flavour of the grapes will tell you when to pick and the logistics with weather means looking at forecasts and sometimes making a call. You may recall that both 2008 and 2009 were cool summers, yet weather like that is then that is when grapes such as Riesling flourish.
Dan has an affinity with Chardonnay. As an amateur winemaker in Toronto, Dan experimented with making all styles of Chardonnay wines. Now with his own winery, Dan’s talent shows through, most notably with his best selling wine - Chardonnay Sur Lie (winespeak: “sur lie” means the grapes rest on yeast particles after fermentation for a creamier and more complex flavour). “It is one of my favorites - a real crowd pleaser, with just a touch of wood (winespeak: which means it spent some time in an oak barrel) not to mention lots of fruit flavours,” proudly states Dan.
Rosehall’s name game…
When I asked Dan where the name St. Cindy came from that was attached to his award winning Pinot Noir he said it was named after his sister-in-law who, as Dan puts it, “she is truly is a saint”. Similarly, the fun tongue twisting name of Sullyzwicker, is a combination of his family name, Sullivan, and his wife’s family name Zwicker. The Sullyzwicker White is a delicate white wine made from the not common Ehrenfelser grape that is incredibly aromatic, blended with Riesling grown in both PEC and Niagara. A Savvy friend, Heather Maclaclan, owner of Epicuria Fine Food & Catering in Ottawa says that “Sullyzwicker takes you from porch to table regardless of the food being served”. In keeping with the same style of easy drinking wine, Dan crafts a Sullyzwicker Red & Sullyzwicker Rosé wines too.
How about the origin of Rosehall Run? Dan smiled and with twinkling eyes told me about a little hamlet down the way called Rosehall that has a population of about 80 - animals included. “It runs into the forest that is now just behind our place” and hence the name Rosehall Run was born.
What a joy this story has been to tell.
~ Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes ~
Rosehall Run Riesling VQA Ontario 2008, $17.95
It takes 4 to 7 years for vines to grow grapes that are worthy of using for winemaking. This is a long time for a new business to wait! To help wineries in Prince Edward County get a jump start on producing wines (and business), the Ontario government allows winemakers to purchase grapes from Niagara, bring them to their winery in the County to craft their own wine. This is exactly what Dan has done to make this Riesling. Note on the label it states: VQA Ontario (meaning grapes sourced in Niagara while the wine crafted in PEC)
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Polished and pale yellow in colour, this fruity light to medium bodied wine has lovely aromas and tastes of green apple, pink grapefruit, pear and a pinch of honey. The wine has a citrus-y crisp finish that keeps you coming back for more.
Suggested Food Pairing: It has low acidity and is slightly off day – making it an easy wine to enjoy on its own or with something spicy, or right off the grill with a dallop of fruit chutney on the side. Julie combines both in her recipe of Curried Skewered Scallops and Mango. Our tasting panel constantly came back to this wine – definitely it will be one of our springtime favorites. What do you think?
Cellaring: Pop in the fridge and enjoy now. No need to wait.
Rosehall Run Pinot Noir County Cuvée VQA 2008, $21.95
Rosehall Run has a growing reputation of producing some of the best Pinot Noir wines in the County. We are excited for you to be the FIRST to enjoy this Pinot Noir as this 2008 vintage has not been released into the market yet. Made with Pinot Noir grapes that Dan has sourced from a variety of vineyards in the County along grapes from his own property, Dan’s masterfully talent for making Pinot Noir continues to impress with every sip of this wine.
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A light ruby red colour that is characteristic of Pinot Noir, subtle aromas of strawberry, black cherry, black currant and a whiff of black liquorice waft from the glass (the tasting panel had a great discussion about whether it was Australian black liquorice or more reminiscent of Twizzler and Goodies brand – what do you think? It is a dry medium bodied wine with just enough acidity and tannins to balance beautifully with tart cherry flavours that lingers into a velvety finish.
Suggested Food Pairing: Another wine that the tasting panel could not put down! Pinot Noir classic pairings include grilled salmon, roasted duck (Julie offers a recipe below), and wild mushroom dishes.
Cellaring: Best enjoyed now, or can be cellared for 2 to 3 years.
Rosehall Run Cold Creek Cabernet Franc VQA 2007, $29.95
From the stellar 2007 vintage comes one of Dan’s signature wines.
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This Cabernet Franc shows a bright garnet red colour in the glass, bursting with aromas of ripe red berries, raspberry that packs an impressive punch of dark chocolate. On the palate it is dry, medium bodied with soft tannins reminded the tasting panel of sour cherry and casis. Yummy!
Suggested Food Pairings: The lingering finish makes this wine a perfect match for hearty grilled sausages, lamb chops and one of the tasters offer a recipe for Moroccan Tagine. Save some of this wine to enjoy with dark chocolate cake or your daily dose of 70% cocoa. Sky’s the limit for wine and food pairings
Cellaring: This wine is drinking well now but can be cellared up to five years.
~ Recipes to enjoy with your Savvy Selections ~
With Rosehall Run Riesling …
Curried Seared Scallops with Mango Salsa
The Canadian Living Test Kitchen
24 large scallops(for maximum flavour, cook scallops just before serving)
4 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp each cinnamon and ground coriander
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup diced peeled ripe mango
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
2 Tbsp diced sweet red pepper
2 tsp lime juice
pinch of each salt and granulated sugar
In small bowl, combine mango, jalapeño pepper, red pepper, lime juice, salt and sugar. Set aside.
Remove muscle from side of each scallop; pat dry. Arrange on paper towel–lined baking sheet; cover with paper towel, then baking sheet. Weigh down with two 28-oz (796 mL) cans; refrigerate for 30 minutes.
In bowl, combine curry powder, cinnamon, coriander, salt and pepper. Uncover scallops; coat tops and bottoms with curry mixture.
In cast-iron or nonstick skillet, heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the oil over medium-high heat; cook half of the scallops, turning once, until opaque inside, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towel–lined plate. Wipe out skillet; repeat with remaining scallops. To serve, top each scallop with 1 tsp (5 mL) salsa.
With Rosehall Run Pinot Noir Cuvée County …
Grilled Duck Breast with Red Wine Reduction
Everyday Dining with Wine, Master Sommelier Andrea Immer
The key to this recipe are the dried cherries in the sauce which are a classic with duck and a great cherry flavor to match the silky-textured Pinot Noir.
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup pinot noir (or other left over dry red wine)
1 shallot finely chopped
1/3 cup of dried cherries
2 boneless duck breasts about 12 ounces each
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage leaves
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
Combine the stock, wine, shallot, and cherries in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer until the sauce is reduced by half and thickened – 15-20 minutes. (The sauce can be made one day in advance and refrigerated, reheat before serving.)
Preheat the grill to medium-high. Split each duck breast into 2 halves. With a sharp chef’s knife trim away any overhanging fat so that only about a strip of skin about 2 inches wide attached to each breast. Sprinkle the breast halfs on both sides with salt and pepper, place on the grill skin side down and grill covered until well browned about 8 minutes. Turn and continue to grill covered about 3-4 minutes more for medium rare, or longer if desired, but be careful not to over-grill or it will be dry. This can also be done in a sauté pan but make sure the pan is very hot before adding a couple of tablespoons of oil so the breasts will brown.
Remove breasts from grill and cover loosely with foil, let stand 5 minutes to rest. Stir the sage and thyme into the sauce and re-warm. Slice each breast to fan out on a plate and serve with the sauce on the side or drizzle over top.
With Rosehall Run Cold Creek Cabernet Franc …
Chicken Tagine with Apricots and Spiced Pine Nuts
Gourmet Magazine – recipe by Farid Zadi, February 2008
1 whole chicken (about 3 1/2 pound)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 large shallots, finely chopped (1 cup)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon grated peeled ginger
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
Pinch of saffron threads (optional)
1 cup water
2 tablespoons blood-orange preserves or bitter-orange marmalade
1 (2-inch) cinnamon stick
1 thyme sprig
2 cilantro sprigs
6 dried apricots, chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
For spiced pine nuts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
Pinch of cayenne (optional) Garnish: lemon wedges
Cut out and reserve wings and backbone from chicken. Cut breast in half through bone, then cut off legs and cut to separate into thighs and drumsticks (for a total of 6 serving pieces, not including wings and backbone). Pat chicken pieces dry and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers, then brown chicken breasts, skin sides down, without turning, 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Brown thighs and legs, turning once, 8 to 10 minutes, transferring to plate. Brown wings and backbone in same manner.
Cook shallots in butter with remaining tablespoon oil in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over medium heat, stirring frequently, until soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, turmeric, and paprika and cook, stirring, 3 minutes.
Add chicken with any juices from plate, saffron (if using), and 1/2 teaspoon salt to shallot mixture and turn chicken to coat. Add water and bring to a boil, covered, then cook at a bare simmer, covered, 30 minutes.
Turn chicken and add orange preserves, cinnamon stick, thyme, cilantro sprigs, and apricots. Simmer, covered, 10 minutes. Uncover and simmer until chicken is very tender, 10 to 15 minutes more.
Brown pine nuts while chicken cooks:
Heat oil in a small heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers, then stir in pine nuts, turmeric, paprika, and cayenne (if using) and cook, stirring frequently, until nuts are lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes (watch carefully; they burn easily). Transfer to a small bowl.
Transfer chicken to a platter and keep warm, covered. If sauce is not thick, boil it down, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 1 cup. Discard herb sprigs, cinnamon stick, wings, and backbone. Stir in chopped cilantro and spoon sauce over chicken. Sprinkle with nuts.