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Charles Baker Picone Vineyard Riesling 2016

Canada, Ontario
93 WA
92 JG
Charles Baker Picone Vineyard Riesling 2016

Charles Baker captures the beauty of one of Ontario's oldest Riesling plantings - the Picone Vineyard.  This wnie regularly shows up in the final selections of the best white wines of Canada so we're proud to make some available here in Japan!

Country Canada
Province Ontario
Region Niagara Peninsula
Producer Stratus Vineyards
Vintage 2016
Color White Wine
Varietal(s) Riesling
¥5,500

Charles Baker captures the beauty of one of Ontario's oldest Riesling plantings - the Picone Vineyard.  This wnie regularly shows up in the final selections of the best white wines of Canada so we're proud to make some available here in Japan!

Country Canada
Province Ontario
Region Niagara Peninsula
Producer Stratus Vineyards
Vintage 2016
Color White Wine
Varietal(s) Riesling
Data
Closure Cork
Volume 750ml
Alcohol 10.6%
Product Code A004W00416
UPC 628116003854
Inventory Sold Out (0)
Owning & Enjoying

Tasting notes

Aromatically enticing with rich tropical notes wrapping themselves around the citrus and typical floral herbaceous tones of the Picone vineyard.
A rich palate, perhaps from a daring more deliberate nod to the early vintages of this vineyard that boasts more residual sugar balanced against lower natural acids at harvest from the intense heat of the summer. The finish is currently challenging us to think ahead ten years when this wine will find its centre. Lots of curb appeal on this wine but hold tight, it is only temporary, lots to look forward to.- Charles Baker

Winemaker's Comments
Since 2005, I have been working with the Picone Vineyard on Vinemount Ridge. The wine has been consistent in depth and character. If you have followed this wine, you will have come to love it's generous mouth-filling texture that is balanced by finely streamed acidity. It is a fragrant wine, a floral wine, a Niagara Riesling.

The Niagara Escarpment is a special and rare base on which to grow wine. The bedrock dates back millions of years and is constantly shifting and evolving. Lake Ontario, close by, enables the vineyards to survive extreme conditions. The nature of our climate guarantees wines of finesse, ageability and enjoyability.

The Picone Vineyard is a postage stamp sized vineyard that hugs the escarpment just below the crest, a short mile west of Vineland. The five acres of Riesling (Clone Weis 21B) are planted in two blocks - the older finding itself on the slopes of the property. Each of the eight vintages I have bottled is from the older block in the early years and now from the complete vineyard. The wine is hand-picked late in the season for optimum maturity and delivered to Stratus where it is intensely sorted prior to winemaking. Once past the crusher, the ‘free-run’ juice which is considered the cream in the milk bucket, is separated and eventually bottled as my wine.

Pairing

One of the most versatile grape varieties to enjoy with food - from roasted pork, to pinapple chicken to spicy Thai dishes.  Enjoy!

Cellaring

Enjoy thorugh 2030

Press
93WineAlign
93 pts - David Lawrason, WineAlign This monumental riesling took top honours at the Toronto KitchenParty and will compete for Winery of the Years at the Canadian Culinary Championship in Feb 2020. It has a very generous ripe and complex sugar nose of pineapple, lemon. Old vine riesling spice with some petrol. It is mid-weight, powerful with a hint of residual rounding the texture. Very concentrated with excellent to outstanding length. There is an orange pith nuance on the finish. Tasted October 2019
92Wineanorak (Jamie Goode)
92 pts - Jamie Goode On top of the Niagara escarpment, this is the coolest of the subappellations. This is fresh and vital with a lightness to the palate, with focused citrus fruit, some pithy notes and some stony, mineral characters. There’s a hint of diesel character, too. Has high acidity and comes across as dry and intense, but also has a touch of sweetness, adding some volume. But you’d never suspect 20 g/l from the taste.
Production

Appellation

VQA Vinemount Ridge

Vintage Notes

Glorious, dry, warm, long, nothing to complain about...unless of course you are Riesling and like a little shade, a few clouds, some cool night, some relief. That said, 2016 is a growing season not to complain about. Low humidity brings clean, healthy vineyards and at the end of the day the earliest harvest on record for this vineyard which just meant a longer sleep on lees over the winter. Complex now and forever.

Viticulture

The Niagara Escarpment is a special and rare base on which to grow wine. The bedrock dates back millions of years and is constantly shifting and evolving. Lake Ontario, close by, enables the vineyards to survive extreme conditions. The nature of our climate guarantees wines of finesse, ageability and enjoyability. The Picone Vineyard is a postage stamp sized vineyard that hugs the escarpment just below the crest, a short mile west of Vineland. The five acres of Riesling (Clone Weis 21B) are planted in two blocks - the older finding itself on the slopes of the property. Each of the eight vintages I have bottled is from the older block in the early years and now from the complete vineyard. The wine is hand-picked late in the season for optimum maturity and delivered to Stratus where it is intensely sorted prior to winemaking. Once past the crusher, the ‘free-run’ juice which is considered the cream in the milk bucket, is separated and eventually bottled as my wine.

Vinification

Charles Baker currently makes two wines, both Rieslings and both from purchased grapes. In absence of a dedicated winery, the wine-making is done at Stratus, where Baker is director of sales. The wines are made only with the post-crushing free-run juice and are fermented and matured in stainless steel. They clearly express a sense of place, being true to both the grape and their origin – not mock German, Alsatian or Austrian but unique, with their own sense of style, their own somewhereness.

Producer

Producer Description

Stratus Vineyards, established in 2000, is a sustainable, innovative winery located in the heart of Niagara wine country in the historic town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. Stratus is dedicated to growing and producing limited quantities of premium wine in the VQA Niagara Lakeshore appellation.

The Stratus vineyard is a sixty-two acre estate moderated by the effects of two bodies of water: the Niagara River and Lake Ontario. Niagara-on-the Lake is a special habitat called the Carolinian Zone, an area known for rare species of plants and animals. The vineyards of Stratus benefit from a unique micro-climate that ranks among the warmest in Niagara. These temperatures are comparable to those of northern Rhone and are warmer than those in Bordeaux. Fruit from the vineyard is subject to an uncompromising selection process at harvest. By employing the watchful eyes and hands of sixteen people covering two modern grape-sorting tables, unsuitable fruit is discarded. This results in only the ripest, most flavourful grapes proceeding to the winemaking stage. This meticulous attention to fruit selection is the most intensive in Canada.

Winemaking at Stratus is led by J-L Groux. A native of the Loire Valley in France, J-L has been honoured as “Ontario Winemaker of the Year” and is renowned for his passion for creating distinctive wines based on the principle of assemblage.

Assemblage is the art of combining several different grape varieties to produce a wine that is the most complex expression of a vineyard’s terroir. The synergy created with assemblage winemaking reflects the age-old theory that the sum is greater than the parts. Our two signature assemblage wines are Stratus White and Stratus Red. Critically acclaimed, these wines have quickly become benchmarks of quality within the Canadian wine industry.

With a focus on Vitis vinifera , the vineyard is planted in forty-four separate blocks containing eighteen different grape varieties. All of the varieties of Bordeaux as well as Syrah, Gamay, Chardonnay, Gew?rztraminer, Riesling, Marsanne, Tempranillo, Sangiovese, Tannat, Mourv?dre, and Viognier, allow for wines of diversity and complexity. Substantial portions of the vineyard are over a quarter of a century old.

The soils of the Stratus vineyard are highly prized compositions of clay loam with permeable gravelly limestone. The canopy and fruit of the vines receive enhanced exposure to the sun through the use of a modified ‘Scott Henry’ vine-training system. Viticultural practices adhere to the principles of rigorously low yields, elimination of herbicides, and a harvest mandate that relies entirely on gentle hand picking.

The winery, designed by architect Les Andrew with engineering design by Alan Greer, is a marvel of efficiency, sustainability and flexibility. It is a building designed to produce limited quantities of wine based on a true gravity flow system, thereby eliminating any pumping of wine.

Stratus is committed to responsible stewardship of the land. As a result, the winery is the first building in Canada to achieve LEEDTM (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the Canada Green Building Council. Stratus was the first winery worldwide to fully achieve this designation. Environmental sustainability is a core value of all involved in the design and operation of Stratus. As a proud new member of the Canadian wine industry, Stratus is committed to building on the existing foundations of quality-oriented pioneers and wineries in efforts to anchor Niagara as one of the world’s great wine regions.

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