Channel: Bachelder Wines
Alcohol by Volume: 12.5%
Sugar Content: 2 grams per litre
Thomas Bachelder is surely one of Canada’s masters of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, having honed his craft in Burgundy, Oregon, then ‘home’ to Niagara. Lately, he’s become a kind of scholar of the Niagara Peninsula, carefully sourcing fruit from small, family owned plots. I wrote about this at The Hub last fall in this column.
The temptation to look over the rows and see what Gamay grapes were also hanging must have been to great to resist, and he added Gamay to his repertoire some years ago.
Les Villages is his Gamay gateway drug, a blend of a number of sites that range from the lakeside near Niagara-on-the-Lake to ‘The Bench’ on the upper reaches of the Niagara Escarpment. Bachelder began his wino odyssey as a writer, and describes this wine as follows:
This wine leads us on a dizzying dance, combining the deep ripe fruit and silky tannins of NOTL (Niagara-on-the-Lake) with the delicate perfume and limestone angularity of the best Bench (Escarpment) vineyard fruit. With the 2021 vintage, we sense a deep, cherried, minty-dark, almost peppery, juicy-fruited, stewed rhubarb limestone, yet with darker, mysterious, earthy fruit that is brooding…
Bachelder recommends keeping it for a year or two for optimum results, but it’s drinking beautifully now: lots of big bright red juicy cherry and there really is an “almost peppery” note in this wine, which projects an ataumnal quality. There may even be a touch cranberry in there, which makes it a candidate as a turkey wine (although, then you would have to share it…).