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Bachelder W-W “Ouest” Chardonnay 2019

Canada, Ontario
96 NW
95 WA

Some ‘get’ "Da Wiz" right away, some suddenly find they prefer it with a little age. Always noble, closed-in, restrained when young, the ‘Wismer-Wingfield’ Chardonnay is our latest ripening parcel, furthest from Lake Ontario (6,8km!), at the highest elevation (169m at the very top). The ‘Hill of Wingfield" describes sharp slope through the shorter rows. Look back a page at the Fox’s pick dates! "Da Wiz" comes in 10 days to three weeks after that parcel! One wants to call the "Hill of Wingfield" a ‘Grand Cru,’ however, with no classification system yet in place in Niagara, one is not allowed. 

WHY THIS MATTERS FROM A  ‘SENSE OF PLACE’ PERSPECTIVE. Both on the Vineland Bench and on the Jordan Bench*, the majority of  vineyards are planted to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. This is a magic  place for Chardonnay: amateurs of Niagara Bench Chardonnay from  around the world (who may have never visited the region) have amply  proved this point with their laurels, with their support. The secret lies  in the ex-marine soils, and in the altitude and distance from the lake. In toto, it forms what could be called "Niagara’s Grand Cru strip."  Vineland Bench Chardonnay?" "Nuanced, fine, scented, great length,  mineral, long-lived."

Country Canada
Province Ontario
Region Niagara Peninsula
Sub-Ava Twenty Mile Bench VQA
Producer Bachelder Wines
Vintage 2019
Color White Wine
Varietal(s) Chardonnay
¥8,800

Some ‘get’ "Da Wiz" right away, some suddenly find they prefer it with a little age. Always noble, closed-in, restrained when young, the ‘Wismer-Wingfield’ Chardonnay is our latest ripening parcel, furthest from Lake Ontario (6,8km!), at the highest elevation (169m at the very top). The ‘Hill of Wingfield" describes sharp slope through the shorter rows. Look back a page at the Fox’s pick dates! "Da Wiz" comes in 10 days to three weeks after that parcel! One wants to call the "Hill of Wingfield" a ‘Grand Cru,’ however, with no classification system yet in place in Niagara, one is not allowed. 

WHY THIS MATTERS FROM A  ‘SENSE OF PLACE’ PERSPECTIVE. Both on the Vineland Bench and on the Jordan Bench*, the majority of  vineyards are planted to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. This is a magic  place for Chardonnay: amateurs of Niagara Bench Chardonnay from  around the world (who may have never visited the region) have amply  proved this point with their laurels, with their support. The secret lies  in the ex-marine soils, and in the altitude and distance from the lake. In toto, it forms what could be called "Niagara’s Grand Cru strip."  Vineland Bench Chardonnay?" "Nuanced, fine, scented, great length,  mineral, long-lived."

Country Canada
Province Ontario
Region Niagara Peninsula
Sub-Ava Twenty Mile Bench VQA
Producer Bachelder Wines
Vintage 2019
Color White Wine
Varietal(s) Chardonnay
Data
Closure Cork
Volume 750ml
Alcohol 14%
Product Code A017W00819
UPC 185729000415
Inventory In Stock (48)
Owning & Enjoying

Tasting notes

From Thomas Bachelder...
The Hill of Wingfield delineates a sharp slope through the shorter rows, which makes for longer hang-time, and an intense, rich noble set of flavours, overlaid by a tight, long, tactile and flavourful finish. As well, the wine possesses a generous weight and elegant, slatey minerality. Majestic! (Ultimately, with time in your glass - on your cellar - like the great horse ‘Secretariat," this wine slowly pulls away from the pack and widens the gap with the passing of the years). We are all created equal, this is true, and wine’s beauty is certainly at least partially in the eye of the beholder, but COME ON, the Wingfield is GRANDIOSE! Writing this, I re-tasted an open bottle after three days, and "Da Wiz" was just starting to step on the accelerator! Lesser terroirs fall to the wayside with that kind of treatment!

Cellaring

Enjoy through 2032

Press
96Wines In Niagara
Rick VanSickle One of the best Chardonnays — maybe THE best ever made in Niagara This consistently exquisite Chardonnay is sourced by from “the hill of Wingfield,” in what Thomas Bachelder not so quietly refers to as “grand cru” even though it is a classification that still has no standing in Niagara (but should!). The Chardonnay grapes grown in this parcel, which is at the highest elevation and furthest from Lake Ontario, are the latest ripening in Wingfield. The 2019 version is a wonder, the best ever produced and worthy of all the accolades it is getting, even if it needs time to fully reveal itself. Such a gorgeously perfumed and floral nose with ripe pear, bergamot, granny smith apple, vanilla toast, light creamy accents, elegant oak spices and defined by a stony/slate minerality that is just beginning to reveal itself. But, OMG, one taste and it vaults to another level. It’s rich, dense, and concentrated on the palate while still maintaining a saline, stony, flinty minerality profile. Next comes defined fruits of ripe pear, lemon curd, apple skin and an ever-so-subtle note of reduction that makes this highly complex and attractive with rich and toasty spices and an eternally long and finessed finish. Tight, yes, but wait for this to fully reveal itself. Cellar 7+ years but try at least one of them now so you can watch the evolution.
95WineAlign
John Szabo, MS Bachelder's latest ripening parcel, the furthest from the lake at just under 7kms, the "Ouest" parcel is the highest elevation of the Wingfield slope (169m a.s.l), and has for several vintages now delivered Bachelder's finest chardonnay. The 2019 is a wine of impeccable balance, and ripe, round, creamy texture framed by firm acids, with exceptional complexity, depth and length, and a level of concentration that goes well beyond the mean. Bachelder seems to have loosened the reins on this one, allowing it to develop broadly, though it seems it could have easily gone the way of tighter and more mineral, such is the stony signature, like vacillating between Chassagne and Corton. In any case, its a very "Charmes" vintage with spectacular palate presence. I suspect this will one day be considered a Niagara 'grand cru 'site for chardonnay to be sure. Drink or hold into the mid-late-'20s - I don't think this bottling needs extended cellaring to enjoy. Tasted December 2021
Production

Vintage Notes

The apparent delicacy of the vintage belies the promise of longevity coming from the small-berried grape bunches we had that fall. Interesting florality, breadth, and incredible acid balance.  

Viticulture

THE GROWER

Now into the second generation, The Wismer family has been growing grapes on the Vineland Bench for 25+ years. They manage with great prowess - for themselves and others - some 300 acres. Craig Wismer, the leader/genius of it all, is a wine lover with a good palate, a man of passion and commitment, and he and I have been thick as thieves for years in our pursuit of understanding soils, terroirs, clones and viticulture. However, brothers Chris and Ken have brought nuance and precision to already excellently-run vineyards.

SOIL COMPOSITION

Dolomitic-limestone influenced clay soils with a solid silt component. "Loamy textures over clay/loam till." Executive  Summary: ‘Shallow Dolostone."

Vinification

Harvested on the 29th of October, Fermentation with Indigenous yeasts; 14% alc./vol; 2 g/l residual sugar, 150 cases made.

Producer

Producer Description

In just over a decade, Thomas Bachelder has made a name for himself as a producer of world class, terroir-based, organic Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in Burgundy, Oregon and Niagara. With their two young daughters in tow, Thomas and his wife Mary Delaney have unwittingly become wine gypsies, following their passion to produce terroirrevealing wines from these two most noble Burgundian grapes.

Made with intention

They make wines from local terroirs using ‘wild’ (indigenous) yeasts, using organic vineyards wherever possible. Everything goes to barrel for long ageing. The intent is to make pure, suavely-textured wines that sing lightly and clearly of their vineyard origins with as little makeup as possible – wines that are finely-perfumed and tightly-wound, offering the classic refined fruit and textured minerality of the delicate silt, clay and dolomitic limestone-laced ancient lakebed terroirs of Niagara.

A little note from Thomas and Mary

We’re inspired by the love of our spiritual home – Burgundy – where the grapes we love originally evolved, where even the tiniest of vineyards are put separately into a bottle. Our aim is to help discover, quantify and name the Terroirs of Niagara, one-by-one, from west (just outside Hamilton) to east (just outside the “Old Town” of Niagara-on-the-Lake) – and to deliver their energy and their purity of spirit to your glass! Pull the cork and dream of the vineyard from which it comes!

Santé! Cheers!
Thomas & Mary Delaney-Bachelder
 

“…Bachelder is evidently on a monk’s errand to map out the escarpment with Burgundian-like precision.” - John Szabo, MS

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