I am a wine journalist in western Canada based in Edmonton. Last week I was in the Niagara peninsula visiting with family over the Easter period. I took the opportunity to visit a few of the wineries that I haven’t previously visited and met Ryan at Angels Gate who was extremely kind and generous with his time and enthusiasm to lead me through an extensive tasting of the wines produced at Angels Gate.
I was very impressed with the wines but none more so than the 2010 Rennie Wines “Christine Chardonnay” that was produced under your hands-on guidance at Angels Gate. It was truly exceptional and unequivocally ranks among the three best Canadian chardonnays I have ever had the pleasure of tasting. This is a testament to the excellence of the 2010 vintage in Niagara and to your expertise in allowing the wine to express its terroir and unencumbered personality. The bouquet was, indeed, telling and I kept going back to it to corroborate my initial impression. In a blind tasting, I could easily mistake it for a Chassagne Montrachet from Burgundy – no feint praise! On the palate, the initial promise was confirmed. Purity of fruit, perfect balance and a lingering, rich, buttery yet elegant finish that went on and on. Yet, throughout, the wine maintained an elegance that one seldom finds in new world offerings. It was truly sensational and will remain, for me, a benchmark of what the varietal is capable of in Canada.
I am happy to report that I brought a bottle of it back with me to Edmonton and await the opportunity to put it into a blind tasting with some of the world’s great chardonnays that will be enjoyed by some pretty sophisticated palates. I am confident of the results.
By this e-mail, I congratulate you and thank Ryan for his generosity and kindness in furthering my education.