How do you answer the question “what’s your favourite wine”? Do you have a favourite? Is there one wine from a particular winery that absolutely stands out from all the rest? Perhaps there’s one wine that holds a sentimental place in your heart and for that reason you consider it your favourite?
For me there isn’t one specific bottle of wine, but I do have a favourite grape. Hands down Pinot Noir is my favourite and is what I reach for whenever given the choice. So when we popped into one of our local wine shops one day and I saw a 2013 Cave Spring Pinot Noir sitting on the shelf I decided to give it a try. I had heard some good things about the winery in general and if they had a Pinot Noir then I was sold.
When you think of wine in Canada you think of two regions, Niagara & the Okanagan, and while they are not the only wine producing regions they are the two best known. I live within easy travelling distance to the Okanagan, and as such visit there as often as I can. This allows me the opportunity to try as many as their wines as I can with relative ease. On the other hand I rarely get a chance to travel to the Niagara region and so I jump at the chance to try as many wines from there as a I can.
Cave Spring Vineyard is located in the Niagara Escarpment overlooking Lake Ontario in area known as the Beamsville Bench. Mineral rich soil consisting of limestone, shale, and sandstone provide an optimal balance required for growing grapes, and the natural slope of the vineyard allows for excess water to drain away while still retaining the required amount of moisture. The surrounding escarpment cliffs allow for temperate breezes that lengthen the growing season ensuring grapes ripen to their full extent.
The history of Cave Spring Vineyard goes back to the early 1920’s, when Giuseppe Pennachetti acquired the farmland where the vineyard is currently located. The vineyard began with the planting of European grape varietals, including Riesling and Chardonnay. The winery continues today under the guidance of Len Pennachetti and other family members. Cave Spring Vineyard is recognized as a foremost producer of Riesling within North America.
Cave Spring 2013 Pinot Noir
As mentioned above I’m always excited when presented with the chance to try a new Pinot Noir, and in the case of Cave Spring’s 2013 Pinot Noir, I was not disappointed.
At first the color of the wine appeared quite light and transparent, but after letting it sit for 10-15 min it had taken on a slightly darker hue. I would best describe the color as burgundy with purple tones and I immediately assumed a richer and heavier body then would be assumed for a Pinot Noir.
On first tasting of the wine I was taken aback to find the body much lighter then I had expected. It had the freshness and easy drinking body that I’ve come to enjoy in Pinot Noir but with a much darker color to it. It comes across as a young wine with very low tannins.
On the nose there was a definite earthiness to it, notes of minerality and cedar along with ripe cherries. As the initial chill of the wine wore off and the temperature increased, the earthiness aroma became less prominent and the aroma of ripe fruit became more pronounced.
On the palate I immediately picked up a strong note of black pepper and raspberry. Not as prominent as the black pepper, but I also noted a subtler note of something almost like chilli pepper. For a wine with a light easy body it definitely had a lot of structure and complexity to it.
Based on how well the Pinot Noir performed I can’t wait to try the Riesling.
- Winery: Cave Spring Vineyards
- Vintage: 2013
- Grape: Pinot Noir
- Region: Niagara Escarpment
- Country: Canada
- Nose: Mineral, Cedar, Cherry
- Taste: Black Pepper, Chilli Pepper, Raspberry
- Purchased: CO-OP Liquor, Wine, & Spirits
- Price: $18.99