What’s inside September’s Toronto Life Wine Club box

What’s inside September’s Toronto Life Wine Club box

Join the club

In September’s delivery: Thomas Bachelder’s exclusive “Les Villages” collection, which includes a chardonnay, a gamay and a pinot noir. Wine Club members are invited to a private virtual tasting with him—sign up to join in! Orders must be placed by September 23.

Wine bottles


2017 “Les Villages” Chardonnay

Why we’re into this wine: This chardonnay was drawn from the best barrels of six vineyards in Vineland, Beamsville and Four Mile Creek. This approach embraces the complexity and texture that can result from blending the same varietal across different vineyards, while ensuring top-quality wine. Élevage (the progress from fermentation to bottling) took place over 18 months to ensure that the wine gracefully expressed the elements of its terroir.

What it tastes like: Delicate flavours of lemon citrus and buttered popcorn. In keeping with Bachelder’s Burgundian style, this chardonnay is crisp, yet layered. From the structure to the balance, all elements of the wine work together seamlessly.

How to drink it: Chilled, served with scallops lightly seared in lime-butter or halibut with a lemon-dill sauce.

2017 “Les Villages” Gamay Noir

Why we’re into this wine: Bachelder has applied his knowledge of the small region of Beaujolais to this expression of gamay noir. The fruit was sourced from benches in Vineland and across the Niagara peninsula. The wine itself was fermented with wild yeast, then aged for a year in neutral oak barrels.

What it tastes like: Fresh, ripe cherry and red berry fruits, plum, wet stone, earth—and a hint of bubble gum. It’s very lean and focused, with a light and silky mouthfeel and a pleasant finish. This is a top gamay.

How to drink it: Pop it into the fridge for 30 minutes before opening, then pair with pork sausages.

2017 “Les Villages” Pinot Noir

Why we’re into this wine: This pinot noir was drawn from the best barrels of single vineyards in Beamsville, Vineland and St. David’s in Niagara. Fermentation with wild yeast occurred in small lots with gentle punch downs by hand. The wine was aged for 20 months in neutral Burgundian oak barrels to impart specific perfumes and textures, and then aged several more months in the bottle before release. Bachelder’s passion for this varietal is evident; this is an exciting expression of pinot noir that is firmly seated in the terroir of Niagara while being very reminiscent of Burgundy.

What it tastes like: Aromas and flavours of red cherry, raspberry, baking spice and earth. Delicate and lean but well-structured, this wine is an excellent example of Bachelder’s deep knowledge of—and expertise with—pinot noir.

How to drink it: As with gamay, pinot noir drinks well slightly chilled, so refrigerate it for a bit before opening. Barbecued salmon with fresh herbs alongside grilled veggies is the perfect meal to pair with this wine.