WTN: 2003 Flat Rock Cellars Pinot Noir (Niagara Peninsula VQA)

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WTN: 2003 Flat Rock Cellars Pinot Noir (Niagara Peninsula VQA)

Postby Paul B. » Sun Aug 13, 2006 10:12 pm

Bottled under screwcap - still a comparative rarity for Ontario VQA wines, and Pinot Noir (in fact, all reds), especially.

13% alc.; $23.95 at the winery. Beautifully transparent medium-ruby hue with a slight garnet tinge when viewed from the side of the glass. A bit less expressive on the nose upon opening compared to what I remember it tasting like at the winery, but in a couple of hours it opened up to reveal faint cherry candy aromas coupled with shoe polish and subtle hints of pigeon poop. Well balanced with bold, yet fine-grained tannin quite dominant all across the palate. Grippy and perfectly dry; the tannins are ripe and mouth-coating. Very good mouthfeel; balanced and pleasantly astringent. Drying towards the finish. Very nice Ontario Pinot; I have said this before. I would be very interested to see how this wine ages under screwcap. I wouldn't be against holding onto one of these for up to eight years just to see. The wine is a blend of three Pinot Noir clones grown on two different types of rootstock. It is easily the best Ontario Pinot I've tasted, and a truly classy and excellent-quality table wine.
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Re: WTN: 2003 Flat Rock Cellars Pinot Noir (Niagara Peninsula VQA)

Postby Howie Hart » Mon Aug 14, 2006 8:26 am

I picked up a bottle of this during our visit last Spring, but haven't had the opportunity to open it yet. Looking forward to doing a coq au van one of these days and opening this. Thanks for the notes, Paul.
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Re: WTN: 2003 Flat Rock Cellars Pinot Noir (Niagara Peninsula VQA)

Postby Paul B. » Mon Aug 14, 2006 3:59 pm

Howie, it really does have a nice velvety/grippy tannic texture to it. Not much complexity as such, but certainly one of the decidedly better Ontario Pinots I've tried.

I have long debated over the potential for Pinot Noir in Niagara. I think that it is a better choice for our climate than the much touted Cab Sauvignon and Merlot, though I have tasted better structure in the few Burgundies I've tried - I don't know what causes that.

Still, I feel (and you know this) that Foch is one of the most suitable grape varieties for red wine in our climate. And De Chaunac makes a lovely lighter-coloured red. Maybe one year I will try to make some oaked De Chaunac for a change - there are still some obscure growers in the Peninsula who have it, but tracking them down is awfully difficult.
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Re: WTN: 2003 Flat Rock Cellars Pinot Noir (Niagara Peninsula VQA)

Postby Howie Hart » Mon Aug 14, 2006 4:37 pm

Paul B. wrote: Maybe one year I will try to make some oaked De Chaunac for a change - there are still some obscure growers in the Peninsula who have it, but tracking them down is awfully difficult.

DeChaunac is listed by several growers in the following link:
http://www.makewine.com/resource/grapes99.html
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Re: WTN: 2003 Flat Rock Cellars Pinot Noir (Niagara Peninsula VQA)

Postby Paul B. » Mon Aug 14, 2006 4:43 pm

Howie, I probably visit that page at least once a month ... :lol:

Unfortunately, much of the information on it is badly outdated - about 7 years or so. I wish someone would put the effort into creating an annually-updated list of growers and what they have on offer.

It might take an unplanned swing through Grimsby and just knocking on some doors the next time I'm out that way to see who has what and whether they'll sell on a pick-your-own basis.
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Re: WTN: 2003 Flat Rock Cellars Pinot Noir (Niagara Peninsula VQA)

Postby Bob Henrick » Mon Aug 14, 2006 7:02 pm

Paul, I don't know whether you know it or not, but Ch. Grand Traverse winery makes a terrific gamay in their reserve bottle. I would NOT be surprised if Gamay would do well in Ont as well. Just thinking about it and I just might bring one to Mo'Cool if you would like to try it.
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Re: WTN: 2003 Flat Rock Cellars Pinot Noir (Niagara Peninsula VQA)

Postby Paul B. » Mon Aug 14, 2006 10:33 pm

Bob Henrick wrote:Paul, I don't know whether you know it or not, but Ch. Grand Traverse winery makes a terrific gamay in their reserve bottle. I would NOT be surprised if Gamay would do well in Ont as well.


Bob, I hate to admit it, but I am not a Gamay fan. We have many wineries in Ontario making varietal Gamay, and the wines are completely lost on me. In fact, I have decided that I greatly prefer even a modest Pinot Noir over Gamay. I do try them now and then, but I don't find that they have the qualities that really please me when it comes to reds.
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Re: WTN: 2003 Flat Rock Cellars Pinot Noir (Niagara Peninsula VQA)

Postby Mike Conner » Tue Aug 15, 2006 3:58 am

Paul,

Does your aversion to gamay also include Beaujolais?

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Re: WTN: 2003 Flat Rock Cellars Pinot Noir (Niagara Peninsula VQA)

Postby Howie Hart » Tue Aug 15, 2006 8:34 am

Bob Henrick wrote: I would NOT be surprised if Gamay would do well in Ont as well. Just thinking about it and I just might bring one to Mo'Cool if you would like to try it.

Bob - I plan on bringing a bottle of the Ch. Des Charmes (Ont.) Gamay Droit to MOCOOL - the same one Robin featured in the Wine Advisor.
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Re: WTN: 2003 Flat Rock Cellars Pinot Noir (Niagara Peninsula VQA)

Postby Paul B. » Tue Aug 15, 2006 11:00 am

Mike Conner wrote:Paul,

Does your aversion to gamay also include Beaujolais?

Mike


Mike, I have to say that it's always worked this way: I've tried Ontario Gamay, found that it's not interesting at all to my taste, and moved on to bolder varieties that either have more assertive personalities or better structure. I must say that I have not had a Beaujolais in about 7 years now.
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