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Senchuk Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2019

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2019 Niagara Peninsula 750 mL, 13% ALC/VOL
Pinot Noir
Critic's Rating 94 pts

Tasting Notes

When we first planted our vineyard, we dreamed one day of making a wine like this! Incredibly weight, density and structure, yet still solidly medium+ bodied and agile. The cool and steady season was just about perfect for Pinot, creating a depth and balance this wine has never had before. The number of layers is hard to fathom and keeps unfolding on the nose; first bing cherry, pomegranate, and sugar-beets, then wintergreen, earth and moss followed by tomato-leaf, tobacco, pepper and rose-petal. As the nose opens further herbs like tarragon, sage and oregano appear over dried leaves and damp soil. On the palate, kirsch and mulberry lead, followed quickly by fried oyster-mushrooms, tan-leather, fennel seed, cured-meat and pan-drippings. Raspberry pokes back in, only to be subsumed by hazelnut-encrusted lamb, bramble and wet stone. On the one hand full-bodied with a core structure and tannin that can easily last a decade, yet with vibrant acidity and incredible nimbleness and balance. This wine continues to amaze us and shows why we took the chance 11 (?!) years ago to try to make world-class wine on the edge of Niagara in the town of Winona.

Winemaking Notes

2019 is the fifth vintage of our flagship Pinot Noir from our estate Senchuk Vineyard, and certainly the richest, and most full-bodied so far. The 2019 growing season started out quite cool but sunny and that continued throughout the growing season into the early fall. With a slightly late start to the growing season there were concerns prior to harvest regarding brix levels and phenolic ripeness of the grapes. 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 October 11, 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 (33% new, 16% 1-year-old, 51% older) and aged for 18 months.  The 2019 Senchuk Pinot Noir was bottled on August 11, 2021.

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, WineAlign

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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