Here’s what’s inside the December Toronto Life Wine Club box

Here’s what’s inside the December Toronto Life Wine Club box

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In December’s delivery: an opulent holiday gift from Niagara favourite Redstone Winery, featuring a velvety merlot, a buttery chardonnay and a spicy gamay. Orders must be placed by Dec. 15.

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2017 Bistro Chardonnay

Why we’re into this wine: It’s an intriguing study in the art of chardonnay blending. Grapes from select Niagara vineyards were individually fermented by lot using indigenous yeasts, and aged in French oak for a year. Celebrated winemaking team Paul Pender and Jessica Otting then blended the wines to achieve the optimal flavour profile, depth, roundness and finish. The result is a crisp, forward wine that deepens in complexity as it undulates along the palate toward a graceful finish.

What it tastes like:  A perfume of citrus, stone fruit and brioche sharpens into flavours of lemon, nectarine and flint on the palate. Structure, balance and acid are in harmony. The mouthfeel is light and clean, and finishes with a buttery endnote.

How to drink it:  This versatile wine is both an easy sipper and a complement to big meals. Chill and serve alongside holiday fare, from bacon-wrapped scallops and cheese balls to turkey feasts.

2019 Gamay Noir

Why we’re into this wine: Youth has its virtues, especially when it comes to gamay, a lighter red varietal that’s celebrated for its fruitiness. Grapes were picked and pressed in October 2019, then spent a short time in French oak. Winemakers Pender and Otting then set out to craft a wine that bounced with freshness and bright fruit flavours, but which also retained its natural earthiness. The decision to limit the aging to six months proved prescient as the wine drinks like a rosy-cheeked Beaujolais.

What it tastes like: Mouthwatering aromas of bing cherry and cranberry build to stronger flavours of blackcurrant, raspberry and baking spice on the palate. Fermented to dryness with zero grams of residual sugar, this is a lean pinot, nicely structured with appreciable tannins.

How to drink it: Chill lightly. Pair with Christmas canapés, roasted duck and anything topped with cranberry sauce.

2016 Merlot

Why we’re into this wine: Merlot is a late-ripening varietal in Niagara, often picked deep into the fall by hands chilled from plunging temperatures. Redstone’s 2016 vintage was a little kinder; it was harvested in mid-October, crushed, and aged in French oak for 16 months. The aromatics on this generous expression will have you inhaling deeply before you sip, and your palate will be rewarded with exceptional concentration and flavour.

What it tastes like: Juicy black berry fruit, spruce and coffee abounds in the bouquet, leading into a spiced, earthy palate with hints of cocoa and menthol. Bold and succulent, this full-bodied dry wine is balanced and velvety with a long, elegant finish.

How to drink it:  A sophisticated sipper, it’s also a divine match with hearty stews, game meats and roasted winter vegetables.