David Lawrason’s Weekly Wine Pick: a rich Ontario baco noir from an especially fulsome vintage
Henry Of Pelham 2010 Reserve Baco Noir
$24.95 | Ontario | 90 points
For the next two weeks, the LCBO and Vintages are rolling out an Ontario wine promotion—punctuated on the 29th with an event called Taste Ontario—which provides a great window onto the advances being made with Ontario riesling, chardonnay, pinot noir and cabernet franc. But one of my favourites remains this good ol’ Ontario baco noir, which is especially rich and fulsome in the hot 2010 vintage.
The taste: This is a super-ripe and classy baco, a hybrid variety often known for a certain clumsiness. It’s full bodied, bold, juicy and driven by the grape’s great acidity, without too much tannin or alcohol. Sure, it’s not as elegant and layered as a Châteauneuf-du-Pape, but that is how it strikes me flavour-wise, with all that ripe, rich, plummy and spicy fruit. There is some meatiness as well with oak vanillin, fine acidity and excellent length.
How to drink it: The wine is balanced and supple enough to enjoy now wherever you would normally drink a big red—think roasts, stews, anything with cheddar. But Pelham’s Baco Reserve is also one the longest-lived reds made in Ontario, so consider cellaring at least one bottle beyond 2020. Decant and let breathe for at least 30 minutes as well.