London, England is one of the trendsetting cities for wine. A good place to launch a brand, or region. A few decades ago, Londonâ€™s wine critics fell in love with New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and the world followed.
Bill Redelmeir, owner of Southbrook Winery in Niagara, has a plan to sell Ontario Chardonnay to the Brits. And thereafter, to the world. (And back home too, of course)
At the end of May, in conjunction with the London Wine Fair, twenty of Ontarioâ€™s best Chardonnays will be poured for the English press. Bill believes that Chardonnay is Ontarioâ€™s ace card. Something we do well, and different. Because itâ€™s an internationally recognized wine the world is interested in up-and-coming stars. Success with Chardonnay could make us a player on the world stage.
Last week I had the opportunity to the taste the Chards going to London and I think we can make an impression. Hopefully a WOW, but at least an impression. We have quality for sure, but I think itâ€™s the diversity that makes Ontario unique. Or confusing.
Iâ€™ll report on how the London event goes, but meanwhile hereâ€™s my list of favourite local Chardonnays going to London. Most of which are available at the wineries. Prices range from $25 to $35.
COLIO ESTATE 07 Musque . . . herbaceous, citrussy, refresher
HUFF ESTATE 07 South Bay . . . solid, mid-range
CLOSSON CHASE 07 Kocis Vineyard . . . lush, very sexy
LAILEY VINEYARD 08 Old Vines . . . pretty, charming
PELLER ESTATES 07 Signature Series . . . big, bold, down â€˜n dirty, very Burgundian
RAVINE VINEYARD 07 Rowan Vineyard . . . pure, lots of mineral, Chablis-style
HILLEBRAND 07 Showcase Wild Ferment . . . lean, tart, novel
SOUTHBROOK VINEYARDS 07 Triomphe . . . earthy, Burgundian-style
LE CLOS JORDANNE 07 Talon Ridge . . . big, bold, manly
TAWSE WINERY 07 Quarry Road Vineyard . . . power combined with charm
HIDDEN BENCH 07 Estate . . . tight now but very concentrated
PENINSULA RIDGE 07 Reserve . . . solid, earthy