David Lawrason’s Weekly Wine Pick: a Niagara chardonnay that punches above its weight
Ravine Vineyard 2010 Chardonnay
$24.00 | Niagara Peninsula | 91 points
This weekend, 55 wineries from around the world are gathering in Niagara to showcase their “cool climate” chardonnays, a style that’s right in Ontario’s wheelhouse. Burgundy produces the benchmark of this style, with wines that are powerful, complex, firm, cellar-worthy and hopefully not too oaky. Ravine is a relative newcomer on the Niagara scene, making very serious wines from the get-go.
The taste: The hot 2010 vintage produced many soft, unfocused wines with low acid, but this one maintains a sense of firmness and poise. It’s not flashy, but it is very complex, with compact aromas of dried peach, nougat, gentle wood spice and some minerality. The wine is mid-weight and fairly dense, with nicely sustained flavours. All-in-all, it offers more than expected for the money—some bottles of this quality sell for twice the price.
How to drink it: It will be best enjoyed over the next three years, perhaps a bit longer if you like more mature, honeyed and nutty flavours. Don’t over-chill; just 30 minutes in the fridge should do it. It would pair nicely with grilled white meats, whether chicken or fish, especially when served with mushrooms.