Thomas Bachelder is a name worth knowing #trythis

By / Wine + Drinks / June 15th, 2018 / 16

Thomas Bachelder is a Canadian wine icon. His years spent at Le Clos Jordanne winery in the early 2000’s brought international recognition to the young and growing Niagara region. His passion for cool climate viticulture has led him to starting his own label working with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Niagara, Oregon and Burgundy; in his terms, a wandering wine gypsy of sorts. In my opinion, his most moving wines are the ones he crafts here at home, though his talent is evident in each and every bottle. There is something to be said for his intuitive winemaking and fruit selection, as even his entry level offerings are pure magic. I urge you to try his top bottlings, which for the most part I would stow away in the cellar over the short term, but his ‘vin de soif’ style produced in Niagara are both perfect for drinking now.

Thomas Bachelder Mineralité Chardonnay 2014, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario ($20)

As the name suggests, this exhibits a mineral snap over bright, precise lemon zest and apple blossom. It is lean, with a kiss of oak and subtle spice, and just enough open expression to the green apple and pear fruit profile. Reductive, but in an adds complexity kinda way, with a flinty smoky note. A baby sibling to the more structured and riper Wismer Vineyard bottlings, but oh so good.

Thomas Bachelder Parfum Pinot Noir 2014, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario ($20)

Again, the name hints at the style of liquid in the glass. Super pale in colour, with aromas of strawberries and red plums, delicate rose petal and violet. That same light spice comes through on this as in the Mineralité, and to me shows that Thomas has a gift with using oak barrels as a complement and not a cover up. Lovely balance on the palate, and despite being quite delicate has enough concentration of fruit.


Brie Dema has a career rooted in hospitality and has worked with several fantastic Canadian wine and culinary programs including Langdon Hall, Fogo Island Inn and the Elora Mill. She has studied with WSET and CMS, holding the Diploma and the Advanced Pin respectively. Brie played the part of a bumblebee in her dance studio’s production of Peter Pan when she was five. She has a lousy sense of direction but can always find her way to the bottom of a glass of wine. Brie’s favorite role and greatest accomplishment is being a mom to her wonderful daughter Una. She wishes she was a better cook, but is glad she married a chef.

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