Le Clos Jordanne Digs Terroir

When I received an invite to a media tasting of Le Clos Jordanne wines, I replied in seconds flat. Who in the wine community had not heard of this upstart Ontario winery whose chardonnay won a “Judgement of Montreal” tasting in 2008, beating out competitors from France and California. And that wine, the 2005 Claystone Vineyard Chard, was only the wineries second vintage. Who were these Jordanne guys and where did they come from?

At the January tasting in the dining room of the Terminal City Club, I got answers from none other than the winemaker himself, Tom Bachelder, who spoke passionately about terroir. Bachelder is from Montreal, but he’s practically French, having trained in Burgundy and spent much of his wine making career there. LCJ is a collaboration between Vincor Canada and Famille Boisset of France, so terrior naturally plays a key part of the Le Clos Jordanne story.

Clos le Jordanne, tastingroomconfidential.comThe winery owns four organically farmed vineyards near the town of Jordan Station on the Niagara Escarpment, a limestone bench that stretches over the falls and into the U.S. What Bachelder is trying to achieve with his single vineyard chardonnay and pinot noir is clear distinction between the lots to give pure expression of terrior.

Here are my notes:

2006 Claystone Chardonnay is a big, elegant wine with a full mouth feel, round baked apple and apricot flavours, accentuated by caramel and vanilla. Though it finishes clean, with slight mineral notes, the oak treatment kind of dilutes its Frenchyness and adds Californication. Still, impressive. $40.

2006 Grand Clos Chardonnay has a similar roundness, but with livelier, fresher acidity and less oak. Endowed with tropical citrus fruit, it has an exquisitely long finish that cuts with a steely edge. My preference. $55.

Clos le Jordanne, tastingroomconfidential.com2006 Claystone Pinot Noir has spice, flowers, wood, and gamey wild raspberries and cherries. Beautiful acidity, fresh fruit and hints of mineral make this a heady wine. $45.

2006 Grand Clos Pinot Noir is a more feminine pinot with warm red fruit and orangey, candied citrus notes. Brilliantly elegant and smooth in texture, it’s very seductive. A date wine. $70.

Le Clos Jordanne also blends the vineyards into entry-level Village Reserve wines. The excellent 2006 Village Pinot was the earthiest of the bunch and tasted well worth $30.

Ok, I’m impressed. Now, I’m just wondering when and where I can get these puppies in Vancouver restaurants and stores. I’ll let you know when it appears at Everything Wine, and please tell me if your company has them now.

And, happy St. Patty’s to all who would be green.

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Mari Kane

Mari is a writer, blogger and WordPress consultant, living in Vancouver, BC, the most wine-soaked town north of the 49th Parallel. She also blogs about WordPress web design at Blogsite Studio.com. Follow her on Twitter or Google Plus.