Le Clos Jordanne Chardonnay Roundup
While many peg Riesling as the Great White (Grape) Hope for Niagara (and elsewhere in Ontario), others – me included – are more blown away by what some of the better Ontario wineries are doing with Chardonnay. From the get-go, Niagara’s Le Clos Jordanne’s mission was to craft world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
I recently had the chance to taste through the winery’s most recent Chardonnay releases and have to admit that it is certainly fulfilling it’s goal. No, these are not cheap wines, and in some cases the qualitative differences between a $30 example and one that goes for $40 is not dramatically apparent. That being said, these are poised, harmonious, complex wines that are captivating without being overly showy.
Le Clos Jordanne Village Reserve Chardonnay 2012 ($30.00)
LCJ’s “entry level” Chardonnay explodes (in a gentle sort of way) with spicy baked apple, lemon custard, sweet pear and some toasty/buttery oak. Rich and creamy on the palate, it’s loaded with mildly spicy, dried apricot-tinged, tropical fruit flavours with some toasty/honeyed nuances on the finish and enough lively acidity to keep things balanced. Very well done! 90
Le Clos Jordanne Claystone Terrace Chardonnay 2012 ($40.00)
More obvious minerality here, with some chalky/flinty notes swirling around the dried peach blossom, wildflower honey, clove and fresh lemon peel aromas. The mineral component shines through again on the palate, meshing seamlessly with ripe grapefruit, baking spice, subtle fennel and peach jam. Overall, it comes across as slightly learner than the Village Reserve; more a Chablis Grand Crus to the VR’s Meursault. 91
Le Clos Jordanne Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 ($40.00)
The 2011 vintage was a bit of a tricky one to manage and winemakers had to be on their toes. The team at Le Clos Jordanne obviously were, as this Le Clos Jordanne Vineyard Chardonnay aptly demonstrates. Fairly weighty at 14 per cent ABV, it’s nevertheless exceptionally well-balanced with a nice, nervy tension between zesty acidity and ripe, lush, vanilla, caramel, brown butter and peach cobbler flavours with undertones of Key lime and stone fruit. 91
Le Clos Jordanne Le Grand Los Chardonnay 2011 ($65.00)
Burgundian nuttiness combines with complex layers of wet stone, popcorn, vanilla bean, tropical fruit salad and a hint of Asian spice. Le Clos Jordanne has once again eked out a minor masterpiece from a les-than-forgiving vintage with this wine, which strikes the perfect balance between intensity, richness, elegance and subtlety. Succulent, layered fruit suggesting mulled apple and pear drop is wafted over by wisps of gun smoke and mild butterscotch. It finishes deliciously long, with layers of vanilla and crème brulée. 93