That terroir relies on the warming effects of the great lakes as well as the geology of the escarpment. The Clos Jordanne estates are located both at the foot, and on the top, of the escarpment. The vineyards below the escarpment; Le Clos Jordanne, Claystone Terrace, and La Petite Vineyard, benefit from limestone rich soils and sedimentary deposits left after the passing of millennia.  The Talon Ridge vineyard, Clos Jordanne’s largest, is located atop the escarpment and enjoys stone, silt heavy soils.

The decision to maximize the potential of the region seems to have been an obvious one to Jean-Charles.  Equally obvious, given his background, was to pursue a path perfected by generations in Burgundy. That path was lined with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and led to some specific notions; such as organic farming using a variety of clones at Clos Jordanne, and vinifiying the vineyard by these missed blocks. The wines are vinified using wild yeasts, and in general winemaker Thomas Bechelder practices a minimally invasive style of wine making.

Thomas, a native Canadien born in Montreal, was an obvious choice to helm this project. After working his way up the ladder through several Burgundian estates he finished his formal education by completing the program in Viticulture and Oenology in Beaune, Burgundy. I caught up with Thomas after the tasting and conducted this brief interview:

Well there’s not much more to say about Clos Jordanne. The wines will speak for themselves; so I’ll just add the notes below. One final thought though, these are wines worth trying, not only for their ability to illuminate the potential of the Niagara Escarpment, but because they are delicious and fun to drink. I am looking forward to sitting down with a few bottles soon.

2006 Clos Jordanne Chardonnay Reserve

This is crisp and subtle on the nose with hints of spice and a touch of butter accenting the green apple fruits. On the palate this is fairly rich but very well balanced with excellent acidity keeping this vibrant and highlighting the subtly chalky minerality. Though it may lack some complexity, the fruit is fresh and pure with excellent intensity and solid length making this a terrific everyday drinking style of Chardonnay. 88pts

2006 Clos Jordanne Village Reserve Pinot Noir

There’s a touch of wood on the nose here, you get both the spice tones and a little sweetness that adds some plumpness to the slightly under-ripe fruit tones on the nose. The aromatics are accented with floral and herbal notes that take on a slight tobacco tone when combined with the smoky wood notes.  Gentle on entry, this reveals a very nice core of ripe fruit, that’s a bit surprising after the nose. Perhaps a bit simple, again, but certainly varietal and well made with a nice, refreshing acid wash on the finish. 86pts

2006 Clos Jordanne Claystone Terrace Pinot Noir

This is also marked by smoky oak tones but with plenty of burnished cherry fruit and earth notes to support the added spice. On the palate this exhibits superb acidity with sweet red cherry fruit, which contrasts with the layers of earth, tea, and integrated wood spice notes. This offers great transparency and very good length in a precise style. It’s a pure, and even slightly delicate wine, but one with immediate appeal. 91pts

2006 Twenty Mile Bench Pinot Noir

Deep and richly layered aromatics are full of smoke, clay and stem tones. On the palate this is richer than the Claystone though also softer with more of a sois bois character to it. The dark, blackberry fruit is muscular, and supported by very fine tannins, though this lacks the precision of the Claystone it may have a more promising evolution. The finish feels compressed though seems to have ample reserves of fruit.  89pts

Great Groups Pages
Have you seen our new look? Our groups pages have been redesigned to make them both easier to use, and more helpful. In a glance you can follow all the activity that pertains to the group, both on, and off the page. See new wines, wine reviews, and comments in the forums. Get to know other Snooth members who share your interests, and explore all the details of your favorite regions, wineries, and grape varieties. It's a great place to learn more about wine, and to share your passion. Check out one of our group pages today. To get you started here are a few of my favorites. My favorite grape is Nebbiolo, and of course my favorite region is Piedmont, but that doesn't mean I don't dig the wines from The Ojai Vineyard.

Las week I introduced you to the wines of Alsace with a brief history of the region, and a rundown of Wine Labels and styles. We didn’t have enough time to go into more detail then, but I wanted to follow up with some basic pointers regarding the major wine styles made from Alsace’s grand grapes. These wines warrant your attention, not only because they can be brilliant, rich, structured white wines in a world of weak washed out whites, but also because they are simply spectacular at the table. Some of Alsace’s greatest dishes pair magically with their greatest wines. To read more about the great grapes of Alsace and the foods they pair with please follow this link.