Had a very good PN from Ontario (yes, I did ...)

The manager of one of the restaurants that I frequent here in Toronto served up this play from left field to me today, and I was very impressed:

2007 Pearl Morissette ‘Twenty Mile Bench’ Pinot Noir
It had a lovely spicy, floral, and clean red fruit nose; silky mouthfeel and a long, tense, and well-defined structure; prominent, mineral-laden finish. Overall, it was very pleasing and easy (though by no means boring) to drink and reminded me of a very good Volnay; really good shit. Ninety-two unicorns out of one-hundred.

Thanks for the note Mark. I recommend trying the 2011 Norman Hardie Pinot from Prince Edward County. Haven’t been able to find them in the US but they’re in the Ontario system. You should be able to pick it up for < $35/bottle. Very much in line with your description.


I love this wine…totally agree Maciej…best red I have ever had from Niagara.
I visited the producer 4 weeks ago and am convinced that they are positioned to become THE premier winery in Niagara. Francois and the assistant winemaker Ryan were fascinating to visit with…they have a hands off approach that I think really reflects what Niagara has to offer.

Beautiful old world nose on this wine. 92/100 for me too. Found the nose better than the palate. Best Ontario Pinot I’ve had.

I’m curious how people who’ve tasted both would compare the Pearl Morissette PN to Clos Jordanne, which is the reference point for Ontario PN for me. I have the most experience with their 04 single vineyard PNs, which I thought showed amazing structure, site specificity, and longevity for such young vines. Pretty darn good Chardonnays as well.

In terms of PN, I would say that this Pearl Morissette and the Norman Hardie have the Clos Jordanne beat in terms of purity of fruit and overall elegance; I’ve found the Clos Jordanne to be overworked in many instances. However, even versus the Norman Hardie, which I’ve found to be very good as well, the Pearl Morrissette had a Volnay-esque suppleness and elegance that I have yet to really experience with PN in these regions.

As far as Chardonnay goes, the benchmark for me is Closson Chase. It’s always wonderfully textured with a precise structure and a great balance of minerality, fruit, and oak. If you haven’t tried it, then get it and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Mike Grammer and I just recently visited Pearl Morrisette here in Ontario. Have a gander at Michael’s notes on all the PN wines. He does a fantastic job and actually finally convinced me that maybe we can indeed make good table wine here in Ontario. I really enjoyed his Chardonnays and I’m a Chardonnay hater, so that should give you some idea of what a good job he did.

This is the 6th bottle I have had of this and it has been so consistent.

The nose jumps out of the glass…incense, tart cherry, minerals, nutmeg and a gorgeous stemmy note indicating some whole cluster fermentation.
The palate shows similar complex flavours but the most impressive aspect to this wine is the texture…it is pure cashmere…so smooth with no edges whatsoever.
The finish is long, complex and utterly compelling. This is the best red Niagara wine I have ever had…


Great things going on at this winery. I visited 3 months ago after a great bottle of this at The Prune in stratford.
As a Niagara skeptic, I have to eat crow here…very impressive!