For many people, fall is about a new start and getting back into the full swing of things; the beautiful leaves changing colours, enjoying the last few days at the cottage and spending Thanksgiving with family and friends. In the wine world, it’s all about harvesting a year’s work as they tend to vines that are finally going to make new wines. It is a very exciting yet laborious time. Picking of the grapes, along with all the winemaking and juice babysitting follows over the next few months, almost twenty-four hours a day.
I’d like to share a new discovery of an incredible winery in the Prince Edward County region that everyone is excited about, called Rosehall Run. Their wines are tremendously delicious and so well made that I’ll certainly be sharing them at Thanksgiving dinner. Rosehall Run makes three levels of Chardonnay, and three levels of Pinot Noir that are absolutely fantastic. They also make a dry Rosé, and a slightly off-dry lighter floral and mineral style Riesling for $17.95, which would be classic with ham served during the holidays.
Let’s focus on their fabulous Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs, which are all made by hand and crafted with tremendous personal care. Dan Sullivan is the winemaker and he is the first to say that the soil and nature are the true winemakers, and that he is almost just the overseer of it – that, without a doubt is the sign of a great winemaker. The barrels at Rosehall are not only from French forests, but they’re actually made in Burgundy (the homeland of great white Chardonnay and red Pinot Noir), now that’s serious business, and his wines absolutely reflect that.
Their Cuvee County Chardonnay with some of that French oak aging is just delicious, and at $21.50 it’s a steal. This wine is one of my absolute favourites this year. It is a classic in great Chardonnay style and pairs wonderfully with cream dishes, richer grilled fish, lobster, butter and cheese… of course not all of these items are kicking around in my fridge everyday!
If you’re roasting white meat or lighter game with a gravy made from the pan drippings (possibly using a flour base Roux) accompanied by rich creamy butter and garlic mash, try a more intense Chardonnay like their JCR Cuvee at $29.95 (also Prince Edward County fruit). It’s an incredible wine experience; a nutty-creamy chardonnay with mouth–refreshing acidity, and endless flavours that coat and continue in your mouth long after you’ve swallowed the wine! You’ll likely be going for another sip or two before your next bite of food.
For Rosehall Run red wines I particularly love their Pinot Noirs – both the Cuvee County and the JCR touch French barrel aging in different quantities, and have beautiful aromas of floral and bright berries, which is classic in Pinot Noir. If you’re serving red with a Thanksgiving turkey, these wines would definitely be the right choice. Especially when it becomes a little more about a richer or darker sauce, with some herbs and berries (in addition to cranberry stuffing), with some wine that you might want to reduce a little in your sauce, your dish will work perfectly with a good Pinot Noir. It of- ten has a slight sour cherry mouth-feel (an important Pinot Noir quality).
This fall you should go for a drive to Prince Edward County and enjoy all those leaves changing along the beautiful roads and vineyards, visiting the wineries, and eating at their local restaurants. You could also buy a bottle right at Rosehall winery, at one of the local restaurants, or by calling the agency in Toronto for purchase and delivery right to your home.
The Rosehall Run Cuvee County Pinot at $23.50 has a lovely smooth yet zesty finish that makes you want to pick up your glass again and again. This wine pairs well with white meats and lighter roasts and works exceptionally well if the sauce is minimally lighter. Rosehall Run’s highest quality Pinot Noir is the JCR (similar to their top tier white), and at $39 it’s a fuller mouth-feel with fabulous balanced oak flavour integration (a great Pinot often has toasted oak as part of the flavour profile, like the great Grand Crus). This one has a dried fruit reduction impression, making for a darker concentration of flavours, at least to me. Remember that Pinot Noir is often about bright berries (raspberry and sour cherry nuances) and floral aromas, with a wonderful refreshing acidity. When they get richer they become darker in flavour, and when you age a Pinot Noir they also tend to become quite earthy.
The JCR Pinot Noir is fantastic with darker game and red meats, seared duck and lamb chops. It would also do well paired with dishes containing tomato sauce.
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