Posts Tagged ‘wine review’

A unique Italian wine crafted in Niagara

Posted by Eva

Friday, July 6th, 2012

Savvy Sommelier Derek, tells us that the first time he interviewed Betty Colaneri, he was so enchanted by her story that, “I found myself just listening, forgetting to take notes and ask questions.  The second time we talked, I was more prepared!”

The story of the Colaneri Estate Winery begins in 1967, when Joseph & Maria Colaneri came to Canada from Italy with their two sons Michele (Mike) and Nicola (Nick).  Several years after their arrival, one of the sons, Mike married Angiolina, while the other son Nick, married Liberina or Betty.  What is touching about this is that two brothers (Mike and Nick) married two sisters, (Angie and Betty).

The Colaneris have been growing grapes in the Niagara region for 34 years.  However, they did not become directly involved in the wine making business until 2003.  I chuckled as Betty told me that the family agreed to take advantage of an opportunity and replant their grape vines…”it was either grape vines or Christmas trees” she recalls. Now, having tasted their wines, I am glad that the family agreed on the grapes!

What makes Colaneri different is that the family made a decision to produce their own wines in a uniquely Italian style using the ‘appassimento’ technique where some or all of the grapes are kiln-dried to enhance the concentration & depth of the aromas & flavours.

Derek gives us a quick 101 on Italian Wine Styles

Italian wines are as diverse and as unique as the people and the country.  Given this, I thought I would dedicate a portion of this article to provide you with basic information about the styles you will be enjoying. 

Appassimento: A style of wine in which some or all of the grapes are partially dried before they are fermented into wine. By drying the fruit, there is more sugar, less water and therefore a greater concentration of flavour with the finished wine.

Ripasso (pronounced ree-PAH-soh):  In Italian ripasso literally means “re-passed”.  After the wine is fermented in the usual way, it is placed in casks containing the lees (winespeak for grape skins) from a prior batch of wine.  Usually, the lees of an Amarone wine are used. This process, which lasts from 2 to 3 weeks, adds colour, tannins, body and complexity of flavors to the new wine.

Cheers & Enjoy!

Colaneri ‘Corposo’ Cabernet VQA 2009


This wine is made similar to an Italian Ripasso, where the must from dried grapes used to produce Amarone-style wines are added to a wine, causing a second fermentation to add body & depth of flavour.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A blend of Cabernet Franc & Cabernet Sauvignon with aromas of dried cherries, white pepper, herbs & earth, with intense flavours of red & black plums & some tobacco – or is it fresh ground pepper? – on the finish.

Suggested food pairings: BBQ sausages, meat-based pasta or herbed encrusted roast lamb would be delicious!



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  Colaneri has been a feature winery in our Savvy Selections wine of the month club. Read more about Colaneri & their wines in our Savvy eZine.  You won’t find this outstanding wine on the shelves at the LCBO.  Would you like this wine? Subscribe to our wine of the month club or call on us to make the arrangements for a special delivery to your home or office!


Le Clos Jordanne – a fabulous Ontario Pinot Noir

Posted by Susan

Friday, December 5th, 2008

Looking for a unique gift for the holiday season?  Don’t miss the LCBO Vintages Wine of the Month, Le Clos Jordanne Village Reserve (#33894, $30), released December 6, 2008.  This Pinot Noir is an excellent value Ontario Pinot Noir, which can be cellared for 3-5 years.

I had the opportunity to participate in a tasting let by Thomas Bachelder, Le Clos Jordanne winemaker.  Thomas is a native Montrealer who developed his winemaking expertise in Burgundy, while pursuing a formal education in Viticulture and Oenology in Beaune.  He has tremendous enthusiasm for Le Clos Jordanne terroir, for the winemaking team, and for his wine. 

Le Clos Jordanne’s approach to the vines and the land is to allow the wine to express its ‘sense of place’.  In order to ensure this, the vines and fruit are tended and harvested by hand, and no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides are used.  In 2005, the winery received its first Ecocert Canada certification for organic farming.

Last summer, I had the opportunity of a private visit to Le Clos Jordanne winemaking facilities in Niagara,   This winery was established in 1998 as a joint venture between Vincor and the French firm, Boisset.  They were convinced that the Niagara property had similar characteristics of slope, climate, soil and terroir to the Cote d’Or in Burgundy.

The focus of Le Clos Jordanne is on premium Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The grapes are grown on several properties which are uniquely situated; they include La Petite, Talon Ridge, Claystone Terrace and Le Clos Jordanne vineyards.  The wine from each of its properties in unique, as I discovered during a barrel tasting.  For instance, Claystone East produces a fairly robust Pinot, which may be blended with Talon Ridge, along with deselected barrels of the other single vineyards, to produce Le Clos Jordanne Village Reserve.

If you love fine Pinot Noir, as I do, visit the Vintages section of your LCBO, or contact us regarding the opportunity to purchase a case directly from Le Clos Jordanne. 

Happy holidays