Here’s what’s inside April’s Toronto Life Wine Club box
In April’s Toronto Life Wine Club delivery, there’s a trio of wines in varying shades of red that demonstrate considerable variety and versatility. For your enjoyment: a gorgeous rosé from St. Catharines, an earthy pinot noir from Niagara and a succulent cabernet franc from Prince Edward County. Orders must be placed by March 31.
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Flat Rock Cellars Gravity Pinot Noir 2014
Retail $34.95 | Niagara Escarpment
Why we’re into this wine: Ed Madronich’s Flat Rock is one of the gems of Niagara. It’s a state-of-the-art facility that is nonetheless a people place. The wines are some of the best in Ontario, and the experience is delightfully welcoming and downright fun. Pinot noir and chardonnay are the strengths here, and this wine’s name, Gravity, refers to the winemaking process: Flat Rock prefers using natural flow—that’s gravity—over mechanized pumps to move the juice around, minimizing the winery’s impact on the ecosystem.
What it tastes like: The 2014 Gravity is perfectly tuned and ready to drink. It’s lush with ripe berries, supple with soft tannins, and perfectly balanced with acidity and earthy funk. There’s wonderful concentration here, and it drinks much older than it is. Don’t just take our word for it: international wine critic Jamie Goode gave this wine 93 points.
How to drink it: Give it a mushroom tart, magret de canard, escargot or wild salmon. It’s a pleasure to sip, too.
Speck Bros. Three of Hearts Rosé 2018
Retail $19.95 | St. Catharines
Why we’re into this wine: This wine has everything. It’s from a family renowned for making quality wine in Niagara. It comes in a beautiful bottle. And, not least, it’s delicious. We should say, also, that it’s rosé. And we support the drinking of rosé at all times. Not just in summer, not just as an aperitif. But all the time. It’s great with food and equally adept as a cocktail sipper. This particular rosé is made by the Speck Bros., famous for their work with the outstanding wines from Henry of Pelham.
What it tastes like: This wine is made from 100 per cent pinot noir. The colour is beautiful and pale, and the palate is elegant and full of verve and energy. Pinot rosés have a bright acidity that sends a nice jolt to your palate. This wine is dry but juicy with raspberry and tropical fruits.
How to drink it: It’s delightful on its own, but with its crisp finish, this wine really likes food. It’s fabulous with white pizza, raw seafood, cold cuts, roast chicken, pasta with pesto—go with zesty flavours. But let’s be clear: good rosé goes with just about anything.
Grange of Prince Edward Estate Grown Cabernet Franc 2016
Retail $27.95 | Hillier
Why we’re into this wine: Mother and daughter Caroline and Maggie Granger craft elegant wines in Prince Edward County from grapes grown on their 60-acre vineyard. Caroline founded the winery about 20 years ago, making her one of the pioneers of the red-hot Prince Edward County scene. Cabernet franc is a grape that this duo does particularly well, and this wine comes entirely from estate-grown fruit. Maggie prefers to use older barrels in the aging process, so as to introduce extra tannins to the wines. This results in a wonderful texture and softened acidity.
What it tastes like: This cabernet franc is generous with blue berries and plum and a pretty nose of violets and fresh wild blackberries. It’s a bit on the wild side—in a good way. It has some earthy grit and minerality, giving it excellent structure and depth. Fresh herbs, black olive and mushroom round out its savoury character. Long finish.
How to drink it: With structure and concentration like this, you’ll want to enjoy this wine with a Sunday roast, prime rib, or a juicy ribeye. Or similar big wild proteins like boar or moose. Osso bucco would be nice, too, or a rich, dark stew.