Food & Drink

Le Clos Jordanne’s 2005s

Le Clos Jordanne's 2005s

In a last-minute change of plan by Vintages, a limited selection of the first Le Clos Jordanne 2005s from Niagara will be available in some stores starting on Saturday, Nov. 24. You can read the full story about the groundbreaking Le Clos Jordanne winery in October’s issue of Toronto Life.

A quick synopsis of the 2005s—a very ripe, low-cropped vintage. The chardonnays are deeply coloured, opulent, ripe, vibrant, evolved and great to enjoy now, with two to four years ahead. The pinot noirs are big, quite ripe and powerful as well; indeed, they’re youthfully nervy, bordering on sour and tannic. They need patience; cellar for three years—some will live to 2020. They lack the élan of the 2004s but have more gumption.

And, let there be no mistake, the two more expensive Le Grand Clos wines (pictured above) are the best of the bunch. I would like to start a petition that the famous, yet-to-be-built Frank Gehry winery never be constructed on such a fine vineyard site. Put the tourist facilities beside the highway where they belong not in the middle of this vineyard. Niagara needs to focus on vines not monuments.

My ratings and reviews follow. There will be another larger release next spring, and the 2005 Claystone Terrace pinot noir is listed for the Dec. 8 Vintages release (the magnum will be available on Nov. 24).

The Pinot Noirs

Le Clos Jordanne 2005 Pinot Noir Village Reserve, Niagara Peninsula ($25, 88 points, Vintages 33894)

Blended from several sites with the majority from Talon Ridge atop the escarpment. Very good value—has much of the character, if less depth of more expensive bottlings, with its own finesse mindful of Le Grand Clos. Deeper colour than 2004 and riper, sweeter black cherry-currant nose in cedar, chocolate and touch of mint. Very New World. Light to mid-weight, firm, grippy, dry and sourish. Quite tannic. Very good length. 2009 to 2012.

Le Clos Jordanne 2005 Pinot Noir La Petite Vineyard, Niagara Peninsula ($35, 88 points, Vintages 33944)The lightest of the single-vineyard wines from a sandier block east of the main holdings. Moderately deep, ruby-garnet colour. Nose is lifted, very spicy and savoury with ripe sour cherry (not big black cherry) and a touch of earthy beetroot character. Feels lighter to mid-weight, firm, almost tart and sour, with grip on the finish. There is considerable, slightly green tannin. Nice focus, some finesse; very good to excellent length. Sour. Best 2010 to 2013.

Le Clos Jordanne 2005 Pinot Noir Le Clos Jordanne Vineyard, Niagara Peninsula ($35, 90 points, Vintages 33902)This site is producing very elegant, quite powerful wines similar to Le Grand Clos if with less depth. Fairly deep colour—youthfully ruby. Quite ripe sweet cherry and raspberry, cedar, leather, smoke, and sour currant, cranberry, beetroot character. Medium-full weight, open entry with a some fruit sweetness, but generally quite tense, sour and tannic. Powerful. Excellent to outstanding length. Best 2011 to 2016.

Le Clos Jordanne 2005 Pinot Noir Claystone Terrace, Niagara Peninsula ($35, 90 points, Vintages 33951)This site has emerged as the source of the most big-boned and perhaps longest-lived pinots. Deep colour—quite reserved aroma with ripe, almost dried, cherry-raisin, plum, gentle spice, nougat, leather and chocolate. More body, fleshy, firm and less sour. Fairly tannic and blunt with lovely fruit focus and sweetness. Excellent length. Best 2011 to 2017.

Le Clos Jordanne 2005 Pinot Noir Le Grand Clos, Niagara Peninsula ($60, 92 points, Vintages 34553) The step up in price is clearly measurable in the finesse and very long, lingering finish. And, this bottle is clearly the best of the vintage’s portfolio. This is a gorgeous pinot noir in waiting. Again, there is some sourness, but there is also a wonderful sense of finesse and completeness, with generous sweet aromas of black cherry, currant, cedar, meat, mint and some chocolate. Medium-full, smooth, vibrant, dense and elegant with fine, dry tannin and outstanding length. Best 2011 to 2020.

The Chardonnays

Le Clos Jordanne 2005 Chardonnay Village Reserve, Niagara Peninsula ($25, 90 points, Vintages 33936)

Combined from several vineyard sites, this is the least expensive chardonnay but is of very good value. Very bright, deep yellow colour. Ripe with quite tropical pineapple, lemon, butterscotch and gentle wood spice. Medium weight; creamy and intense on the palate with some alcohol warmth (14 per cent); lemony acidity and hazelnut cream on the finish. Some bitterness and lemon peel among brûlée. Very good to excellent length. Quite evolved; drink now to 2010.

Le Clos Jordanne 2005 Chardonnay Le Clos Jordanne Vineyard, Niagara Peninsula ($35, 91 points, Vintages 33910)Quite a deep and intense yellow with a touch of gold. Shows a generous sweet, cool, fruit-oriented nose of peach-pear, cedar spice, hazelnut and a background of vanilla and smoke. Medium weight; creamy, mellow and elegant with a firm acid core that dries the finish with lemon and hazelnut. Some heat. Excellent length. You will enjoy it now, but another year will soften the finish a bit.

Le Clos Jordanne 2005 Chardonnay Claystone Terrace, Niagara Peninsula (93 points)Bright and fairly deep yellow with a touch of gold. Intense spicy nose with minerality and peach cobbler, peaty and nutty aromas. Medium-full bodied; more sinewy with firm acidity and power. Very intense and powerful with real grip; masculine. Excellent to outstanding focus length. Age it one to two years. Lots of lemon and hazelnut with minerality on the finish. Wow. Please note: this wine is not being released Nov. 24, but I tasted it among the others and offer my review for future consideration.

Le Clos Jordanne 2005 Chardonnay Le Grand Clos, Niagara Peninsula ($55, 94 points, Vintages 34561)Lovely and indeed a grand chardonnay. Same bright yellow-gold colour of others in the portfolio. Very intense, gorgeous, sensuous and sweet, creamy nose of vanilla, peach-pineapple, hazelnut and peat smoke. Medium-full bodied; rich, seductive palate, with wonderful buttery crème brûlée flavours and smoothness. Finish slims down to vibrant acidity and minerality with lovely spice on the finish. Excellent to outstanding length.


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