Norman Hardie, Pinot Noir Unfiltered, 2011, Wellington, Red-wine from Canada
Canada and red-wine? I would not mind if someone says this doesn’t work. And in those cases I tried reds from Canada before it was – let’s say it friendly – ambitious. Out of curiosity I recently bought two different Pinot Noir of Canadian winemaker Norman Hardie.
2h into West from Toronto on a peninsula called Prince Edward (Niagara Peninsula) you could find Norman Hardie’s vinery among some others. This area belongs to Southern Ontario. I have not visited it (yet) therefore can take only references to other internet sources and Norman Hardie’s friendly webpage http://www.normanhardie.com. Aside of Pinot Noir they also produce white wine of Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Riesling. Other reds are Zweigelt and Cabernet Frank.
The Pinot Noir of 2011 appears at the first moment pretty closed. It needs really some hours to develop its strength and richness of different red and dark fruits as raspberry, blueberry and black cherries. This said, the wine is not fruity! It has a rather herbal approach with tobacco and wooden notes. If you give the wine even two days, just close it (it has screwtop), all flavors and aromas became richer and the wine itself very smooth.
The vines and oak barrels are from France. The soil is limestone. The climate is in certain regards comparable with Middle European areas. I assume close lake Ontario has much positive effects to the weather in this area.
This voluminous wine, in a way pretty heavy, for me personally has too much barrique flavors. This is certainly too dominant. It demolishes even the fine and smart – if not elegant – taste of a great Pinot Noir. This is somehow also reflected in the color of the wine as it is pretty strong red comparing other Pinot Noirs. Very probably and in certain regards it is a concession to the market as so many other wines from US are very wooden too.
It is an individual wine – not only because of the handmade corrections of back side label! Although I do not know Norman Hardie you easily believe that there is passion and a lot of craftsman’s work behind this wine.
For some cold moments while winter a good wine, just by itself. It would fit also to some Barbeques – in particular roasted chicken.
I will keep this wine in mind of course!