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Charles Baker Picone Vineyard Riesling 2017

Canada, Ontario
94 WA
95 WA
Charles Baker Picone Vineyard Riesling 2017

Charles Baker captures the essence of one of Canada's oldest Riesling plantings - the Picone Vineyard.  Regularly one of the final selections for white wine of the year in Canada, we are proud to make it available here in Japan!

"Canada's 100 Best Magazine" - No.2 Riesling

2020 Ontario Wine Awards ''White Wine of the Year"

Country Canada
Province Ontario
Region Niagara Peninsula
Producer Stratus Vineyards
Vintage 2017
Color White Wine
Varietal(s) Riesling
¥5,500

Charles Baker captures the essence of one of Canada's oldest Riesling plantings - the Picone Vineyard.  Regularly one of the final selections for white wine of the year in Canada, we are proud to make it available here in Japan!

"Canada's 100 Best Magazine" - No.2 Riesling

2020 Ontario Wine Awards ''White Wine of the Year"

Country Canada
Province Ontario
Region Niagara Peninsula
Producer Stratus Vineyards
Vintage 2017
Color White Wine
Varietal(s) Riesling
Data
Closure Screw Cap
Volume 750ml
Alcohol 10%
Product Code A004W00417
UPC 628116004493
Inventory In Stock (38)
Owning & Enjoying

Tasting notes

A weighted and intriguing nose of lemon and fresh lime, yellow apple and Anjou pear, spring spruce tips and dusty limestone. Vivid, but still just a snapshot of a complex young Riesling on its way somewhere else! The palate’s dry attack has real zest and power, led by lemon and green apple but behind the requisite veil of limestone, the apricot and white peach stone fruit is starting to develop. Delicious especially with food right now but without doubt a Riesling that will reward some cellaring. This wine feels like it could easily last into its third decade!

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 and beyond

Press
94WineAlign
94 points, Janet Dorozynski, PhD.  Intense citrus, lime blossom nose and palate. Crisp, zippy acidity with a bit of spritz. The wine has become drier with each vintage, which has resulted in a more harmonious and balanced wine and a classy and classic riesling. Tasted October 2020.
95WineAlign
95 Points - Michael Godel, WineAlign The concept behind Baker’s single-vineyard riesling is for the top tier one to be possessive in the matters of majestic and dignified, which quite honestly it is. Funny vintage that ’17 was and yet in riesling there can be this slow melt, tide and release of intricacy and intimacy, which this Picone does. Like taking a picture with the slowest shutter speed, allowing the sensor a full allotment of time in its exposure to light. This is the dramatic and hyper-effect and how Baker captured the highest riesling resolution imaginable. The succulence in the acids over top juicy, juicy fruit and this great entanglement is majestic and dignified. My goodness Charles, I think you’ve done it. Drink 2021-2032. Tasted April 2020
Reviews & Ratings

"Canada's 100 Best Magazine" - No.2 Riesling

2020 Ontario Wine Awards ''White Wine of the Year"

95 Points - Michael Godel, WineAlign
The concept behind Baker’s single-vineyard riesling is for the top tier one to be possessive in the matters of majestic and dignified, which quite honestly it is. Funny vintage that ’17 was and yet in riesling there can be this slow melt, tide and release of intricacy and intimacy, which this Picone does. Like taking a picture with the slowest shutter speed, allowing the sensor a full allotment of time in its exposure to light. This is the dramatic and hyper-effect and how Baker captured the highest riesling resolution imaginable. The succulence in the acids over top juicy, juicy fruit and this great entanglement is majestic and dignified. My goodness Charles, I think you’ve done it. Drink 2021-2032.  Tasted April and October 2020

Production

Appellation

VQA Vinemount Ridge

Vintage Notes

High hopes for 2017 as the vineyards woke from a relatively mild winter were quickly tempered by monsoon-like rains in the spring that led to unprecedented water levels in lakes and rivers big and small across Ontario. Bud break was right on schedule though vines had to cope with a cool summer with higher levels of precipitation than necessary. We like to say we grow in a cool climate and for the most part this is accurate. What we don't always recall is that our seasons can be easily divided in two. The first cool and cloudy, the second brilliant and warm which is the case in 2017. September arrived and with it heat and brilliant sunshine for weeks of end. Also contributing to complexity and depth was a very pronounced diurnal shift from August onwards. Daytime highs in the upper 20s followed by nighttime lows in the low single digits. All in all a superb Riesling vintage - ripping acidity, adequate sugars, good concentration. 2017 will live forever and a day.

Vinification

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.

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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