L’Imparfait; a funky Canadian micro-label
Hinterland Wine Company in Prince Edward County is known for its super classy sparkling wines (and the world’s most friendly winery dog Babette aka ‘the love sponge’); in fact I would rank their ‘Les Etoiles’ traditional method bottling as one of the Canada’s best quality to price ratios going. What piqued my interest during my first visit to them this past January wasn’t just their bubbles but a line of still wines called L’Imparfait; a collaboration with the Québécois restaurateur icon Dave McMillan. The wines speak to the younger drinker with bold labels featuring prints from Canadian artists such as Kim Darland. The style is as you might picture from a Dave McMillan/Jonas Newman/Vicki Samaras collab; funky, live in the moment, ultra-hip and darn tasty. My standout favorite was the 2018 ‘Ramirez’ Chardonnay, but all four are worth a try. Visit Hinterland’s online shop and enjoy free shipping in Ontario during COVID 19 crisis (some stipulations apply). https://www.hinterlandwine.com/
L’imparfait Macération 2018- $30
A white grape skin contact blend of Savagnin, Gewürztraminer and non-skin contact Chardonnay. Not a wine of terroir but one that shows good skill in the processing. Twenty-one days for the Savagnin and twenty-four for the Gewürztraminer, but not showing the bitterness that can sometimes come from both varieties when macerated on skins. Wild fuzzy peach, canned mandarin and kombucha nose; really appetizing texture, lingering on tightrope of tannin and acid.
L’Imparfait Chardonnay ‘Ramirez’ PEC 2018- $38
From the Ramirez family vineyard in Hillier. Beautiful nose, clean and signature cool climate aromas of tart apple, bright lemon juice and zest, lightly floral, and a snappy, well-done smoky popcorn note (like how the popcorn smells whenever I’m in charge of making it). The palate is a laser beam, energetic and direct. Stunning.
L’Imparfait Chardonnay ‘Quarry Road’ Niagara 2018- $35
Fruit from the uber talented team at Tawse in Niagara. This one shows a struck matchstick/flinty note out of the gate with shy fruit aromas rising up after a few swirls, and a lovely raw bread dough note. Well balanced on the palate.
L’Imparfait Passe-Tout-Gains 2018 $34
A take on the Burgundian version that includes Pinot Noir, Gamay, Syrah and Savagnin. Juicy, crunchy red forest berries, pomegranate, a don’t-take-yourself-too-seriously kinda wine. Not overly funky, but not pristine, and a good-to-go drink now attitude.