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Senchuk Vineyard - Pinot Noir, 2018

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2018 Niagara Peninsula 750 mL, 12.5% ALC/VOL
Pinot Noir
Critic's Rating 94 pts

Tasting Notes

The density, body, structure and balance of this wine remain unparalleled. While some of the warmth and richness of the vintage is present, the signature high acidity, and green/leafy/herbal components are still brought forward by our very cool site. The nose mixes pomegranate, mulberry, candy-cane beets and moss in equal measure, with thyme and anise layering over a background of mushrooms fried in butter. On the palate the wine unfolds even more showing rose-petal, tan-leather, pancetta backed by tobacco, sweet-basil and underbrush. Leaning towards full-bodied with loads of core structure and tannin, it is still quite fresh and vibrant with excellent acidity and tannin that will easily help it last for a decade. This wine continues to amaze us and shows why we took the chance 10 (?!) years ago to try to make world-class wine on the edge of Niagara in the town of Winona.

Winemaking Notes

2018 is the fourth vintage of our flagship Pinot Noir from our estate Senchuk Vineyard, and certainly the richest, and most full-bodied so far. The 2018 growing season stayed warm throughout, with some very hot and humid spells. There were some significant rains in the fall immediately prior to harvest that proved challenging. However, with good vineyard management and a lot of work sorting, the Pinot Noir from Senchuk Vineyard came in beautifully ripe, with amazing mature skins and seeds and the moderate alcohol and relatively high acidity that our site is known for.

Hand-picked and hand-sorted on September 24, the grapes were partly de-stemmed (60% destemmed, 40% whole-cluster), partially crushed and left to soak on skins prior to fermentation. After 3 days, fermentation occurred spontaneously in small open-top fermenters. During fermentation, the skins were punched-down by hand 2 times per day. Once fermentation was finished, the wine remained on skins for 5 days before being gently pressed. It was then transferred to French oak barrels (50% new, 20% 1-year-old, 30% older) and aged for 18 months. The 2018 Senchuk Pinot Noir was bottled on August 21, 2020.

Critic's Rating

“It’s incredibly hard to get the acid-tannin core when fundamentally it’s a light red wine.” Thoughts on Winona-Grimsby pinot noir. So it has weight without density and the apposite of four loud notes adding up to complexity. Fruit is joined by dirt, leather, fungi and the acid backbone. Senchuk is really proud of Senchuk and this ’19 has some strawberry, not necessarily noted before. Like the others there is 30-40 per cent whole clusters but it’s just a practical thing. Sees more wood time than Lowery (18 months) because that’s what the fruit requests. And the structural elements come through as a result. Yes, this is the peak performance. To date. Further extrapolative thoughts look at the home vineyard as the one to extoll the virtues of pinot noir, potentially ahead of chardonnay. Drink 2023-2028. Tasted June 2022.
- Michael Godel

Connoisseur Note(s):

Leaning Post Senchuk Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019 Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara, Canada This is pale cherry red in colour, with lovely stony, mineral structure under the red cherries and plums. There’s a twist of mushroom and dried herbs, but also plenty of raspberry and redcurrant fruit with good structure. This is quite serious, with a fine, tapering finish and real intensity. 95/100

- Jamie Goode - Wine Anorak - UK

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