Le Clos Jordanne Wins in the “Judgement of Montreal”

By / Magazine / June 8th, 2009 / 1

Since its launch in 2006, Le Clos Jordanne winery in Niagara has had the unwavering goal to create Ontario wines that will rank amongst the world’s finest. The wines – produced under the direction of viniculture manager Thomas Bachelder (responsible for both the grape growing and winemaking) – are crafted with exacting organic viticulture practices. In the cellar, innovative New World practices are combined with time-honoured Burgundian techniques, such as harvesting and sorting the grapes by hand. Every step of the process receives careful consideration.

Of most recent note, Le Clos Jordanne participated in a blind tasting held in Quebec for Cellier magazine. Thirty-three years after the “Judgment of Paris” – the famous tasting that revolutionized the reputation of New World wines, and inspired the movie Bottle ShockCellier magazine organized the “Judgement of Montreal.” Ten judges at the Cellier tasting assessed sixteen red and fourteen white wines, primarily from France and California.

The Judgement of Montreal panel was made up of Quebec wine writers: Marc Chapleau (tasting organizer), Jean Aubry (Le Devoir), Gilles Magny (SAQ wine advisor), Patrick Désy (Cellier), Don Jean Léandri (École Hôtelière de Laval), Nadia Fournier (Le Guide du Vin), Marc Lepage (SAQ wine advisor), Véronique Rivest (Châtelaine), Jacques Benoit (La Presse), Claude Langlois (Le Journal de Montréal) and Bill Zacharkiw (the Gazette).

Among the whites, Le Clos Jordanne’s 2005 Claystone Terrace Chardonnay, an “outsider” wine that was included in the tasting unbeknownst to the panel, beat out all the wines from France and the United States. “Good, well-contained opulence, lots of freshness and volume” was a typical assessment from the panel. A 2004 Château Mouton Rothschild, a Bordeaux Premier Cru, took top honours among the red wines.

“Like the judges, we did not even know we were a part of this tasting,” says Le Clos Jordanne viniculture manager Thomas Bachelder, who happened to be in Quebec when the surprise tasting results were announced. “For a Le Clos Jordanne wine, an Ontario wine, to capture the top spot in the Chardonnay flight is both flattering and exciting,” he continues. “The judges could have selected our wine because the Claystone Terrace Chardonnay possesses attributes found in both American and French Wines, with minerality, floral notes and spice,” he adds. “I hope this tasting result inspires Canadians to clamour for Ontario’s wines, much in the way Californians embraced their wines after the 1976 France event.”

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