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Discover why Ravine Vineyard is unique

Posted by Giancarlo

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014
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Savvy Selections wine of the month club 
Featuring Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery

– April 2014 –

 

Back by popular demand, this month we feature Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery of Niagara-on-the-Lake. When we first introduced this winery in December 2011, our Savvy Sommelier Julie Stock shared with you the history & lore of the property.  In this edition, our newest member of the Savvy Team – Giancarlo Nadasio – invites you to get to know contemporary winemaker: Martin Werner, who shares with us his passion, his winemaking style & his lifestyle involved in the process of creating unique wines.  As Giancarlo found out in his interview, Martin makes wine “with an aim to capture what a 22,000 year old soil wishes to express, along with his favorite food recipe to pair with his wine.”

In your Savvy Selections you will find:

Chardonnay Musqué VQA 2012 – Are you ready for spring? This aromatic clone is perfect for enjoying outside – on a deck, a dock or a picnic.  This is the reason for the half bottle format.

Sauvignon Blanc VQA 2012 – Just released: Martin’s signature wine!

Merlot VQA 2011– Get your BBQ ready!

Our newest Savvy Sommelier, Giancarlo has been working in the hospitality business for over 10 years, recently at Ottawa’s Brookstreet Hotel.  To pair these wines, he called on some of his friends ‘in the business’ in Ottawa to share their recipes to match with the wines in this month’s Savvy Selections & please let them know if you tried your hand at their creations!

Clifford Lyness, Executive Chef at Brookstreet Hotel
Josh Gillard, Chef & Owner of MUST Kitchen & Wine Bar
Amy Brown, Brookstreet Hotel Culinarian Professional

Ordering hard-to-find wines is easy!

logoRavine has a broad portfolio of wines including some ‘uber premium’ wines. If you would like to order some of these wines or any of your favorite Savvy Selections, simply email me to make the arrangements for a special wine delivery.

A MUST on your next visit to the Niagara region

winery and restaurantWhen you plan your next visit to Niagara, be sure to stop in at Ravine to discover their full range of wines and try to have lunch or dinner at their award winning restaurant (tip – you will need reservations!)   Or plan ahead & meet the Ravine Winery Team at their annual Harvest Dinner on November 8th 2014.  It promises to be a fun dinner hosted by Martin & the Harber family (winery owners).

Cheers & Enjoy!

Debbie & Savvy Team

 

Introducing…
Ravine Estates Winery

Presented by Giancarlo Nidasio

“What gets me up in the morning? Making the decision to create a nice bottle of wine that I’ve seen from start to finish that will be enjoyed & shared with everyone I care about….It makes my work not feel like work” 

Martin at Ravine VineyardAs a teenager, Marty (in photo as a family man with 2 year old daughter & wife) grew up working on a 60 acre family owned vineyard where he was an avid tractor driver among many other skills.  He got bitten by the travel bug & figured out that a good way to work & explore the world, would be working at wineries.

And so it was…Marty traveled to New Zealand where he worked for a couple of years at Cloudy Bay Winery and for Mahi Winery – both located in the Marlborough area.  It was here where Marty got the hands on experience that eventually lead him to make his own Estate Sauvignon Blanc many years later at Ravine.  Before that, his plane ticket took him to California, where he worked for a year with Justin Winery in Paso Robles.

Now bitten by both the travel & winemaking bug, once back in Niagara, Marty worked at Hillebrand & Hidden Bench wineries before deciding to enroll in to the Winemaking program at Niagara College.  This is where Marty had the opportunity to meet someone that would open his eyes in the winemaking world – Thomas Bachelder.  It was Thomas who was the first person to speak to him about sense of place. “It made me understand that Niagara can do great wines”, recalls Marty.

All this experience has led Marty to create wines that are in tune with both a sense of time & place, that reflect the influence of Lake Ontario & the various types of soils found at Ravine.

Winemaking & the Vineyard

red grapesThe wine making style at Ravine, could be described as having a Burgundian influence for white wines & a Bourdeaux style for the reds; where the assemblage (winespeak: referring to the winemaker’s art of blending) plays a key role.

Marty & his team classify the wines that were made from different batches from either the same or different grape varietals that were planted on different sections of the vineyard, picked at different times depending on their level of ripeness & fermented in different types of barrels made from different types of wood.  This is one of the reasons why Marty really loves the style of Bordeaux Blends (winespeak: A Bordeaux blend is usually referred to the blend of three main grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot and sometimes adding Malbec & Petit Verdot to this blend).  With blends, the winemaker put his own fingerprint onto the wine.

This hard work ties in with the Viticultural & Biodynamic practices of Ravine. These include taking the extra time to do shoot & fruit thinning to gain proper concentration in the grapes while allowing the plant to build its own resistance in order to avoid the use of chemicals as pesticide.  “The goal is to have a vine that is in balance with nature which will bring a fruit that is alive!” explains Marty. 

Out of the entire winemaking process Marty gets most excited (and it’s the most crucial time too) when he makes the decision to pick the grapes.  As he puts it, “this is the make or break your season moment”.  It is the tipping point of the season when Marty can get a perfect snapshot of the vineyard by tasting the grapes every two days (then closer to harvest Marty will taste daily) to determine the acidity & sugar levels. “It’s the most intimate time in terms of a vineyard”

What’s next?

Ravine has its heart in the past & its eyes towards the future and is now preparing for the newest addition to their portfolio with an exclusive 75 case release of a first year 2013 Pinot Noir.  It is a wine with great anticipation, “We are already counting down the days.”  Ravine’s Pinot Noir will feature a limited exposure to new oak so it serves as a complement letting the wine express what the land has to give.

Ask for Marty when you visit!

Marty welcomes all of our Savvy Selections subscribers to stop by & ask for him when you visit the winery. Visit in winter when the ravine on the estate becomes an ice rink where family & friends skate surrounded by the vineyard or in the warmer season when you can simply take a stroll through the vines – just as Marty does with his wife Rachel, his daughter Dani and his two dogs.

Enjoy this month’s Savvy Selections now knowing more about Ravine’s down to earth winemaker.

Cheers & enjoy your Savvy Selections!


~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

 Chardonnay Musqué VQA 2012, $14.00

What is Chardonnay Musqué? Marty explains: It is an aromatic clone of Chardonnay, with a musky character & a slight spritzness that is achieved during the fermentation process.  We do this by closing the lids of the stainless steel tanks where the wine is being fermented to preserve its freshness. The cooling systems is then turned on in the tanks so the CO2 that is naturally produced as a by product of the fermentation, can be trapped inside the wine where   the cold temperature aids the wine to accept the CO2.For this reason, the Chardonnay Musqué is bottled in a 375 mL format, in order to preserve its spritz once the bottle has been opened.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  A bright refreshing crisp wine, with aromas of cantaloupe, lime & tropical fruits (think kiwi) along with a hint of toasty notes.  These continue through onto the taste with added notes of clementine.  A well-balanced refreshing wine with enough acidity to provide structure. 

Suggested Food Pairing:  Created to be shared among friends & family – preferably outside –  at only 9% it is ideal on its own or with light summer salads. Try it with a Spiced & Grilled Shrimp, with Mango Gazpacho, a creation by Amy Brown, culinarian professional at Brookstreet Hotel.  She shares this recipe on following pages. 

Sauvignon Blanc VQA 2012, $32.00

Marty’s signature wine.  This Estate Sauvignon Blanc is aged in oak for 6 to 8 months, developing smoky notes while perfectly matching the linear crispness & freshness that the variety retains in a cool climate region like Niagara. 

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  A great structured wine, with tropical notes on the nose with hints of pear, green papaya, melon & wildflowers following through the palate with a soft creamy mouth-feel.

Suggested Food Pairing:  It calls for a great aperitif or paired with fresh fish dishes.  Want to roll up your sleeves & let your inner gourmand out? Try the Tuna Carpaccio, diakon cress, fuji apple & ponzu recipe created by Executive Chef Clifford Lyness. The smokiness of the wine makes it a great pairing. 

Cellaring: Ready to be enjoyed now or to be aged for several years up to 2023. This is achievable due to its acidity & the concentration of fruit flavors in the wine that with time will make the wine fade out the tropical flavor profile to evolve in to brighter and biscuity profile, also known as Tertiary Flavors, which develop in the bottle.

 

Merlot VQA 2011 $34.00

Merlot is the most planted varietal at Ravine where they use 4 different clones of Merlot that are planted separately on the Top side and on the Hill side of the Estate.  These are picked in 4 different blocks and then Marty blends them together create the final blend that is finished by aging in barrel for 8 to14 months.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Bright red cherry aromas, with hints of tobacco, coffee, molasses & big red ripe berries that follow through the palate with additional hints of chocolate & a smooth minerality almost like wet stone or crushed rock due to the heavy influence of clay soils that lay beneath the vines of the Merlot grapes.

Suggested Food Pairing:  This wine screams smoke & BBQ.  It is a great summer companion for gatherings with dishes like smoked pulled pork, BBQ ribs or lamb shank on the BBQ with a nice reduction sauce on top of mashed potatoes. Superb!!  Why not try MUST Kitchen & Wine Bar Executive Chef & Owner Josh Gillard’s Mint Rubbed Lamb Racks or Chef’s Clifford Lyness free form braised Veal Ravioli, Roast Cipollini with onion jam, seared sweet bread and white truffle and chive butter tension.  These recipes are on the following pages.

Cellaring: With its well integrated tannins, this Merlot is ideal for drinking now or to be cellared up to 2020.

 

~ RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS ~

With Ravine Vineyard Chardonnay Musqué…

Spiced & Grilled Shrimp, with Mango Gazpacho

Created by Culinarian Professional Amy Brown at Brookstreet Hotel, Ottawa
Serves 6

Ingredients

2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cardamon
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground anise seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup canola oil
12 8″ wooden skewers
2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 mangos, peeled
3 yellow bell pepper, seeded
1 English cucumber, peeled and seeded
1 jalapeño, seeded
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2 limes

 Method

Preheat grill to medium high heat & preheat oven to 400ºF.

Combine ground spices, salt, pepper and oil. Pour over shrimp and set aside.

Roast peppers in oven until tender.

Dice mango, cucumber, peppers, and jalapeno. Mix with ginger, juice, yogurt, vinegar and cilantro. Using a blender or food processor, puree mango mixture until smooth.

Skewer shrimp and grill. Grill until tails are pink and shrimp is firm.

Garnish with any extra yogurt and or cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. 

 

With Ravine Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc…

Tuna Carpaccio, Diakon cress, Fuji apple, Ponzu

chef lioness - brookstreetFrom Executive Chef Clifford Lyness, Brookstreet Hotel, Ottawa (photo at left)
Serves: 4 persons

 

Step One: Pounded Tuna Carpaccio

4oz freshest, most vibrantly red sushi grade tuna you can find and afford
salt and pepper

Method

Ask your fish monger to cut you a piece of tuna, closer to the neck of the fish and further away from the tail. As you move closer to the tail of the fish, more white sinew will marble the flesh. This sinew of silver skin is chewy and unpleasant when eaten raw. Using meat towards the neck of the fish will be free of this connective tissue and provide for a smooth velvet texture. The piece of tuna your fish monger gives you should be rectangular in shape weighing approximately 16 ounces.

Using a sharp knife, slice 4 equal pieces of tuna, each weighing 4 ounces. This can easily be accomplished by cutting the initial piece in half, and then halve the 2 pieces, resulting in 4 equal pieces.

Place 1 piece of tuna in between a piece of Saran wrap. Using a mallet, or a heavy sauce pot, gently begin to pound the flesh flat making sure not to tear the flesh. Rotate the wrap periodically to ensure the tuna is pound equally in all directions and has a common thickness. Place in fridge and keep as cold as possible until ready to assemble dish. Carpaccio and tartare dishes taste profoundly better when chilled to the max.

Step Two: Ponzu sauce

50ml light soy
50ml mirin
50ml freshly squeezed lime juice
50ml sake50ml instant dashi

Method

Mix together all ingredients. Balance should be achieved between salty, sweet, and sour, with an alcohol undertone coming from the sake. Not one flavor should be dominant in a classic ponzu sauce, but this can be altered to cater to individual preferences. Chill until ready to use. 

Step Three: Fuji apple & diakon salad

1 package diakon cress
2 Fuji apple
2 scallions
25 ml pickled ginger
1 teaspoon togarashi
2 Tablespoon tobiko
1 piece of lotus root

Method

Clip diakon cress and place a damp paper towel over top to prevent wilting. Using a Benriner mandoline, shave apple and julienne into matchstick. Do not shave and julienne to thin, you are looking for a pleasant thickness to ensure that there is some crunch and juiciness from the apple. Do this step as close to plate assemble as possible to prevent apple from discoloring.  Julienne scallion on a bias using a very sharp knife and place in ice water. This will dilute some of the strong onion flavor.

Slice a peeled lotus root and fry in oil until crisp. Drain on paper towel and reserve 

Plate Assembly

Drain the scallion and place in a bowl along with the apple, diakon cress, and pickled ginger. Add a small amount of ponzu to the salad and do not toss.

Remove the tuna from the fridge. Remove one piece of Saran wrap, exposing one side of the pounded tuna.

Place the exposed side in the middle of a large white plate, and peel the remaining Saran off.

Toss the salad gently and place in the middle of the tuna. Spoon the ponzu over top of the pounded tuna. Sprinkle with togarshi and tobiko. Drizzle with a really good olive oil, and place a few crispy fried lotus root chips on top.

Garnish with a lime cheek so the guest can squeeze fresh lime.

 

With Ravine Vineyard Merlot…

Individual Lamb Racks, mint rubbed and grilled, with tzatziki &  curry sauce

From Executive Chef and Owner MUST Kitchen & Wine Bar Josh Gilliard

Ingredients for mint rub

3 Tbsp dried mint
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pepperpinch of sugar

 Method

Must NewZealandLambRub all above ingredients together

Take a frenched rack of lamb and cut in between each rack to get individual bones. Then apply the bu on both sides of each piece.

Grill on med/high heat until desired level of preparation.

While lamb is cooking, make the sauce:

Ingredients for Tzatziki & curry sauce

4 Tbsp tzatziki
1 Tbsp mild curry paste
1/2 cup Demi or cream
salt and pepper to taste

Serve over top of a pool of mint jelly.        

                     

With Ravine Vineyard Merlot…

Free form braised veal ravioli / roast cipollini onion jam, Seared sweet bread / white truffle and chive butter tension

From Executive Chef Clifford Lyness, Brookstreet Hotel

Step One: Braised veal shank

Ingredients for Braised veal shank

4 veal shanks, about 1 pound each
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 liter chicken stock
1 can (14.5 ounces) whole tomatoes,crushed with fingers, with juices
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried marjoram
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Preheat oven to 350° F. Season the shanks with salt and pepper. Dust lightly with the flour. Heat an ovenproof sauté pan large enough to hold the shanks in one layer over high heat then add the olive oil and heat.

Add the shanks and cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and reduce heat to medium-high.

Place the onions, carrots, celery in the pan. Sauté until slightly softened, about 5 minutes then add the garlic and sauté one more minute. Pour in the wine and broth. Return heat to high and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the lemon juice, tomatoes, bay leaf, thyme, marjoram, salt and pepper.

Cook, uncovered, until reduced by about one-third. (There should be enough liquid to come about half way up the sides of the shanks.) Return the shanks, and any accumulated juices, to the pan. Cover tightly and place in oven. Cook until the meat is very tender and starting to fall off the bones, 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

Remove the shanks from the pan. Let stand 10 minutes and pull all the lean away from bone and residual fat. 

Step Two:  Pasta             

Yield about 10 oz of dough, enough for 3-4 servings

Ingredients

1 cup flour
½ cup semolina flour
Pinch salt large eggs
2 Tablespoons olive oil

Method

Add the eggs and olive oil and mix together.

Beginning in the center, mix with a fork in a circular motion until the flour is combined with the eggs. Mix until soft and then you can add more flour if needed. You want your dough not too stiff because then it will be too hard to roll out. Not too wet because it will stick to everything. The best time to roll the pasta is when you let it rest for 1 hour after.                

Step Three: Roast cipollini onion jam

100g butter, cold and cubed
100 mL olive oil
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste
10 pieces cipollini onions, unpeeled
3oz white wine                 

Method

Place the cipollini onions in a foil pouch with some olive oil & bake in a 370 degree F oven for 20 to 25 minutes. The jackets of the onion should be quiet brown, the insides will be creamy with the sugars inverted. Allow to cool & remove the skin and pestle and mortar the roast onion to a smooth paste.

In a small sauce pot cook the Onion jam along with a touch of sugar, deglaze the pan with white wine reduce to a 1/3.  Finally add the butter (cold and cubed) and slowly incorporate until thickened.  Reserve to the side               

Step Four: White truffle & chive butter tension

100g butter, cold and cubed
150 mL chicken stock
1 piece lemon, juice only
salt and pepper – to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon truffle oil
1/2 bunch chives

Method

In a sauté pan sweat the shallots to a translucent state no color. Deglaze the pan with the Riesling wine allow to reduce to a 1/3. Next deglaze  the pan with chicken stock  again reduce to a 1/3.

Start to slowly add the cubed butter to thicken the sauce. Finish the sauce off with the truffle oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste and olive oil.

 

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

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One of Ontario’s Virtual Wineries – 2027 Cellars

Posted by Susan

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013
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Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring 2027 Cellars
–  March 2013 –

 

Kevin Panagapka – the man behind 2027 Cellars has been a viticulturalist and winemaker ‘in the making’ for most of his life. His father, Don, has been making wines, winning wine competitions, and judging wines for decades.  Surrounded by wine during his childhood, it was only natural for Kevin to be at his Dad’s side helping out

Then came time for his formal training.  Kevin completed the Viticulture and Oenology program at Niagara College in 2002, then jumpstarted his winemaking career at Niagara’s Creekside Estate Winery and Flat Rock Cellars. In 2006, already dreaming of creating his own wines, Kevin travelled to New Zealand to participate in a harvest and helping out at Esk Valley Winery in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand.

You won’t find 2027 Cellars on a wine route map

Research and his international experience led Kevin to establish 2027 Cellars – a virtual winery. What is a virtual winery you ask?  Essentially, it is a winery within a winery.  By sharing space & equipment at Featherstone Estate Winery where he is the assistant winemaker, Kevin has made a business arrangement with Featherstone’s owners – David Johnson & Louise Engel – to make wines at their facility under a different brand and name.  This enables Kevin to realize his dream of his own winery with low capital costs and also allows for Kevin to cultivate and harvest grapes from select mature vineyards owned by other wineries or grape growers in distinct Niagara sub-appellations. This approach underlies Kevin’s philosophy of winemaking – to meticulously manage the vineyards so that his small batch of handcrafted wines express the unique varietal character and distinct terroir of each vineyard. You will see what we mean when you have a sip of the outstanding wines in this month’s Savvy Selections. For starters, you will notice that the labels identify the vineyard name where Kevin sourced the grapes for the specific wine.

What does 2027 mean?

Kevin intentionally focuses on the three renowned international grape varieties that he feels are ideally suited to the Niagara climate – Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.  Together with his wife, Jodie, they purchased a small property on the Beamsville Bench, where they grow Pinot Noir.  The winery name? The answer lies with the purchase of the land. When the vineyard was registered with the Grape Growers of Ontario, it was assigned number 2027!

In your Savvy Selections, you will find:

We’re on the cusp of spring with this March Savvy Selection, and Kevin’s focused portfolio gives us the opportunity to present some clean, fresh wines that will brighten your palate and lift your spirits. Our tasting has assured that you have the opportunity to taste one of each of the grape varieties he cultivates, including:

Foxcroft Vineyard Riesling VQA 2011 – a fragrant, fruity, well-balanced white wine

Foxcroft Vineyard Chardonnay VQA 2011 – just bottled in time for the March Savvy Selections, this wine is complex, creamy & lush – simply elegant!

Queenston Road Vineyard Pinot Noir VQA 2010 – dry, silky classic Burgundian-style red wine


You won’t find these wines at the LCBO

We have noticed that 2027 Cellars has a ‘cult following’. The wines are hard to come by, primarily because Kevin makes small batch wines (winespeak: low inventory of wine).  This also results in his wines quickly selling out! After you enjoy these wines & would like additional bottles of your favorite, just give me a call on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or send me an email to debbie@savvycompany.ca  As always, it would be my pleasure to arrange a delivery for you.

Cheers & Enjoy!

Debbie & Savvy Team

 

Introducing….
2027 Cellars

Presented by Sommelier Susan Desjardins 

As mentioned earlier, Kevin’s father – Don – is a well known amateur winemaker. Don is a member of the Kitchener Waterloo Winemakers Guild and was recognized with a lifetime achievement award from the Amateur Winemakers of Ontario. Kevin (in photo left) has great memories of working with his dad in the basement, or should I say ‘cellar’, in the family home. “My Dad never had enough hands when it came to bottling. It seems I’ve been around wine for most of my life!”, recalls Kevin. Early on in life, Kevin developed an interest in Burgundy, France and the wines from this famous region. “As winemakers, we tend to fall into one category – blends or not. Personally, I prefer to focus on single variety wines (winespeak: wines made with only one grape variety), explains Kevin.”

Wine that speaks from its roots

Kevin has a clear passion for wine that speaks to its roots.” I have always believed that great wines are grown, not made and that quality fruit produces quality wines. My interest is in varieties that showcase terroir and I enjoy investigating the differences between the various vineyards from which I source my fruit.” he comments. “It also ties into the ‘wild fermentation’ and ‘unfiltered’ wine style of the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. It’s what makes winemaking and viticulture interesting for me, keeps me engaged in the process from start to finish.”

Precise & specific

Kevin is very precise in the criteria he looks for in the vineyards and vines he sources. “I look for quality vineyards that are at least 10 years old. I buy specific rows and manage the cropping levels, leaf removal and general care of all the vineyard blocks. This allows me to control the quality of the wines from the beginning of the season in the vineyard, through harvest and the winemaking process.” Kevin sources only Weiss 21-B clone Riesling from the Niagara Escarpment Bench sites, which produces a lovely aromatic quality in the wine. His Chardonnay is sourced from Lincoln Lakeshore and Twenty Mile Bench sub appellations, while the Pinot Noir comes from the Twenty Mile Bench and St. David’s Bench. Why does Kevin focus on these three varieties? “They seem best suited to our climate, as these are the varieties that can be counted on to ripen fully every year in Niagara.”

Both the Riesling and the Chardonnay are from the Foxcroft Vineyard, which is located on the lower portion of the Twenty Mile Bench sub appellation, offering slightly warmer summer temperatures. As Kevin indicated, “the fruit from this site tends to ripen earlier than the higher elevation sites, producing a perfect balance between ripe fruit and vibrant acidity.” The soils in this area include deep clay and till and display quite a variation in texture. Although they are well drained, their water-holding capacity is especially valuable in the warmer periods of the growing season when rainfall is limited. The Queenston Road vineyard is located in the sub appellation of St. David’s Bench in the Niagara-on-the-Lake region and is where the 9-year-old vineyard of Kevin’s Pinot Noir grows. This parcel of land benefits from gentle north-facing slopes, sheltered by the Escarpment. Good airflow ensures the vines benefit from the early onset of spring, while the deep, rich clay soils ensure the vines are well-anchored in the ground.

As a virtual winery, 2027 Cellars does not have its own winery or wine shop. Kevin recalls, “In 2007, I proposed the idea to Featherstone Estate Winery husband and wife owners, David Johnson and Louise Engle. Luckily, they were receptive to the idea, and they have been supportive ever since! I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to make wine at their facility.”

Kevin appreciates David & Louise’s commitment to sustainable agriculture, yet is also realistic about the challenges of growing quality fruit in Niagara. “There is alot of disease pressure here due to the humidity, so it’s very tough for wineries to establish viable organic or biodynamic grape-growing and winemaking processes. My focus is on quality fruit from producers who have the same high standards as I do.”

While naturally passionate about what he does, Kevin is modest about the success of his wines. His 2009 Foxcroft Vineyard Riesling took top honours at Ontario’s Cuvée Awards. When asked about this success, what does he say? “The awards have been good recognition for the brand. But I would really like people to judge the wines for themselves. If they enjoy the wine, I’ve done my job!”

So, while you have the opportunity to do just that through these Savvy Selections, if you find yourself in Niagara, you can stop in at Featherstone Estate Winery to taste 2027 wines, and if you’d like a tour contact Kevin directly kevin@2027cellars.ca

Cheers & Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

 

2027 Foxcroft Vineyard Riesling 2011 VQA, $25.00

Produced from the fruit of 15-year-old vines, this Riesling was fermented in stainless steel and bottled early to preserve its aromatic intensity & crispness.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Brilliant straw/green in colour, this fragrant wine offers complex aromas—jasmine, orchard & stone fruit, citrus, mineral and a touch of mango. Dry, silky, flavours of key lime and orchard fruit marry with a kick of lively acidity, creating a clean, tangy finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: A versatile wine, sip it or pair with seafood or simply prepared chicken or pork.

Cellaring:  Enjoy it now or cellar 3-5 years!

 

2027 Foxcroft Vineyard Chardonnay VQA 2011 $30.00

Produced from hand-harvested grapes, this Chardonnay was barrel fermented with wild yeast strains. As only 78 cases of the wine were produced, we’re fortunate to include this newly released wine for you & all of our Savvy Selections subscribers!

TIP: If you like this wine & want to order more, be sure to contact me pronto….this wine has limited inventory & will sell out fast!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: We were the first to sample this wine! It was bottled only a few days prior to the Savvy Selections panel tasting.  Nevertheless, this wine showed its full potential.

Subtle aromas of toasted nut, butter and pear mingled with tropical notes suggesting pineapple and banana flambée. Elegant, mid-full weight, it’s creamy on the palate offering flavours of caramel apple, pear crisp, and toasted nut. Well balanced and lush, it gently warms the palate with delicate notes of white pepper that linger through the finish.

Suggested Food Pairing:  Enjoy with creamy pasta dishes, baked ham or roast chicken.

Cellaring:  The wine will have experienced bottle shock, so we advise to let the wine rest for a month or so before serving or cellar 3-5 years.

 

2027 Queenston Road Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010 VQA $35.00

 Fermented using only naturally occurring wild yeasts, this alluring Burgundian-style wine was aged in seasoned French oak for 14 months, and is neither fined nor filtered.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  Garnet hued, dry and silky, the wine has a plethora of aromas—cherry/berry, earth, vanilla, a touch of red licorice and notes of toasted marshmallow. Medium bodied, the bright red berry flavours wrap around a backbone of fine acidity and fine-grained tannins, overtones of pepper and spice flowing through the long dry finish.

Suggested Food Pairing:  Serve with roasted duck, planked salmon or braised chicken.

Cellaring:  Drinks well now, it will also cellar 5-7 years.

 

~ Recipes to Enjoy with your Savvy Selections ~


With 2027 Foxcroft Vineyard Riesling VQA 2011…

Shrimp Bisque

From Cooking with BC Wine, Townsin, T & C.
Serves 4

Ingredients

¾ white wine
2 Tbsp butter
1 small carrot, chopped
½ onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
½ tsp dried thyme
15 large raw shrimp, unpeeled
½ C flour
4 C chicken or fish stock
2 Tbsp cream

 

Method

Melt butter in a heavy pan over medium heat. Sauté carrot & onion with bay leaf & thyme until vegetables are soft. Add white wine and shrimp & poach for 8-10 minutes. Remove shrimp from pan & set aside.

Peel 8 shrimp, reserving shells. Dice the meat & set aside for garnish. Put the shells & the remaining unshelled shrimp in a food processor & blend into paste.

Slowly stir the shrimp paste into the poaching liquid then add the flour & mix well. Add the stock & return to boil, then simmer for 15 minutes. Strain soup through a sieve & then cheesecloth before adding cream & reheating.

Serve into individual bowls & then add diced shrimp meat to garnish.

With 2027 Foxcroft Vineyard Chardonnay VQA 2011…

Linguine with Pears & Gorgonzola

From Epicurious.com (from Bon Apetit Magazine)
Serves 4

Ingredients

¼ cup butter
4 firm pears (about 2 lbs.), peeled, cored, sliced into 1/3 inch-thick strips
1 scant Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 cup canned low-salt chicken broth
4 oz. Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled (or to taste)
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup whipping cream
¾ lb. linguine, freshly cooked
1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted


Method

Melt butter in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pears & sauté until tender & beginning to brown but not soft, about 8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, carefully transfer pears to bowl.

Add rosemary to same skillet & stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add broth, Gorgonzola cheese, ½ C parmesan cheese & cream. Simmer until sauce thickens enough to coat spoon, whisking occasionally, about 6 minutes. Return pears & any accumulated juices to sauce. (Can be made 2 hrs ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Bring to simmer before continuing.

Add linguine & pecans to sauce. Toss over medium-low heat until sauce coats pasta, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Transfer to large bowl. Sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese.

With 2027 Queenston Road Vineyard Pinot Noir VQA 2010…

Chicken Marbella

From epicurious.com (from The Silver Palate Cookbook)
Serves 10-12

Ingredients

4 chickens, 2 ½ lbs each, quartered (or skinless chicken thighs)
1 head of garlic, peeled & finely pureed
¼ cup dried oregano (or to taste)
Coarsely ground salt & pepper to taste
2 ½ cups red wine vinegar
½ cup olive oil
1 cup pitted prunes
½ cup pitted Spanish green olives
½ cup capers with a bit of juice
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup white wine
¼ cup Italian parsley (or fresh coriander), finely chopped


Method

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large bowl combine chicken quarters (or thighs), garlic, oregano, pepper & salt to taste, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, capers & juice, and bay leaves. Cover & let marinate, refrigerated, overnight.

Arrange chicken in a single layer in one or two shallow baking pans & spoon marinade over it evenly. Sprinkle chicken pieces with brown sugar & pour white wine around them.

Bake for 50-60 minutes, basting frequently with pan juices. Chicken is done when thigh pieces, pricked with a fork at their thickest, yield clear yellow (rather than pink) juice.

With a slotted spoon transfer chicken, prunes, olives & capers to serving platter. Moisten with a few spoonfuls of pan juices & sprinkle generously with parsley or cilantro. Pass remaining pan juices in a sauceboat.

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

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