Here’s what’s inside March’s Toronto Life Wine Club box
In March’s delivery: Explore Prince Edward County with a chardonnay musqué, an unfiltered cabernet franc and a baco noir from rising star Trail Estate Winery. Orders must be placed by March 25.
2016 Chardonnay Musqué
Why we’re into this wine: Trail Estate winemaker Mackenzie Brisbois has been leading the charge of wild fermentation—the act of fermenting wines with the yeast that naturally occurs on the grapes as opposed to commercial yeast—and the results are exceptional. As with any endeavour that relies so heavily on nature, there are risks involved, but wines that have been wild fermented are often more complex and imbued with a wide range of interesting and appealing characteristics. This chardonnay musqué is a poster child for wild fermentation with its fruit-driven nose, delightfully savoury notes on the palate and gorgeous mouthfeel. Only 100 cases were made of this wine and they were in high demand; the bottles allocated for our club members are the last of the batch.
What it tastes like: Pear, green apple and lime on the nose give way to caramelized notes on the palate from nine months of oak aging, along with savoury elements of brown butter, popcorn and black pepper spice. This dry white has a round and full mouthfeel with a captivating complexity.
How to drink it: This is an elegant wine, so chill well and pair it with elegant appetizers or savoury salads. Soft cheeses will be a natural fit as will roasted pork and herbed poultry dishes.
2016 Cabernet Franc
Why we’re into this wine: In keeping with the natural approach to winemaking, Trail Estate often bottles their wines unfiltered. This helps to retain even more of the natural flavours inherent in the grapes. Their Wingfield Vineyard Cabernet Franc was aged for 17 months in oak and bottled unfined and unfiltered. Rich and textured, this dry red has a generous flavour profile and ample body. Upright tannins mellow as the elements integrate more fully on the palate.
What it tastes like: On the nose, dark fruit (think black cherry, blackberry, black currant and plum) along with floral notes of dried violets and lavender. The black fruit continues on the palate along with notes of black pepper, fig and smoke, culminating in a pleasing, lingering finish.
How to drink it: With friends over a meal of parmesan-and-herb risotto or lamb tagine with dried fruit. This cabernet franc is unique, so equally creative dishes with similar flavour notes will be a great match.
2018 Baco Noir
Why we’re into this wine: It’s a source of pride that the best baco noir in this country comes out of Ontario, and Trail Estate is certainly one of the wineries raising the bar on this varietal. The signature inky purple colour of their baco is a tantalizing hint of what’s inside the bottle. This wine was aged in a mixture of 15 per cent Canadian, 30 per cent American and 55 per cent neutral oak barrels for 10 months, and bottled unfined and unfiltered. The wine is expressive, well balanced and carries nicely through the palate right to the finish.
What it tastes like: Ripe plum and blackberry enjoy a dart of sour cherry that infuses the wine with a pleasant succulence, while cinnamon and baking spice round out the flavours. This baco noir is charmingly left of centre with a subtle tartness that keeps you sipping.
How to drink it: With grilled game meats, mushroom and herb dishes, or as the perfect companion to Montreal smoked meat sandwiches.