hidden benchDistinctive wines from this widely respected, artisan producer in southern Ontario, Canada, especially the wines sourced from their Felseck Vineyard. An elegant Chardonnay was enticing, as I tasted through their lineup, but this wild and crazy Pinot Noir stood out. The charming nose belies a beast lurking in the shadows.

A pretty, rose-scented halo surrounds ingratiating cherry and cranberry aromas set off by a layer of smoke. But in the mouth a narrow seam of sweet cherry is hemmed in by soaring flinty top notes and firm, voluminous tannins that come on early and persist through a long, tart finish. Powerful but not in the high alcohol, full bodied sense; its a sinewy strength, active and tautly expansive. A bright, brassy demeanor, ecstatic and turbulent, it pairs nicely with the fraught anxiety of Alice Merton’s Lash Out.

An original expression of Pinot Noir melding classic charm with a ravaged, rageful soul.

Technical Notes: Unfined, unfiltered , aged for 14 months in French Oak: 17% new, 17% 2nd fill and the rest older for 10 months; racked and returned to 17% new, 17% 2ndfill, 32% Stainless and the rest older oak for a further 4 months. Settled in stainless steel for 3 months prior to bottling, unfiltered. From a hot dry vintage, soils a mix of limestone and glacier till.

Score: 92

Price: $42 (Purchase here)

Alc: 13%