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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

MEDIA LUNCH: Niagara VQA 13th Winery Wine Launch at Vertical, December 15, 2008

The Time and Date:   Monday, December 15, 2008  Noon to 3 PM
The Event: a lunch-launch of new 13th Winery releases, with Doug Whitty
(President), Herb Jacobson (Winemaker), and Peter Bodnar Rod
The Venue: Vertical, 1st Canadian Place
The Target Audience: wine writers, nine in attendance.
The Availability: all the wines we tried were newly released, and are
available at or through the winery
The Background: Founded in 1998, the winery celebrated its tenth
anniversary this year by being sold. The original four partners
included Herb Jacobson, the continuing winemaker, who is still with the
winery. On Sept 1, the Mann and Whitty families of Niagara purchased
the firm, with a commitment to continue the handcrafted wines.
Currently, there is capacity for 4500 cases. Eventually, with a new
facility, there will be a max of 10,000 cases. They have eight
scattered vineyards, totaling 60 acres, with handshake contracts for
more grapes as needed. For example, they buy in all their syrah.
The Wine and Food: Peter and Herb led the tasting. We started with a
sparkler, and then moved to two rieslings, two chardonnays and then a
Meritage. There were also other wines to sample, nearly their entire
portfolio. Here are some notes:
**** Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-13th Winery Premier Cuvee 2004 $28: MC, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, no
MF, first-rate sparkler with the biscuity complexity, with smoked
Ontario trout atop king oyster mushroom salad, a sunschoke chip and a
brioche slice.
-13th Winery Funk's Vineyard Riesling 2007 $24: Alsatian mode, minerals,
best with food, with fresh goat cheese (lacked tang), frisee, hazelnut
-13th Winery Sandstone Old Vines Chardonnay 2006 $28: cork finish,
barrel selection, full bodied, 13.2% ABV yet hot finish, lovely length.
Tried with warm calamari salad and arugula. First rate match.
-13th Winery Syrah Wismer Vineyard 2006 $24: Rhone all the way, but
needs cellar time.
***1/2 Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-13th Winery June's Vineyard Riesling 2007 $17: rich, ripe body,
aromatic and off-dry, with scallop and chorizo.
-13th Winery Sandstone Estate Chardonnay 2006 $18: full, firm but juicy,
twist top, with pan seared Branzino filet.
-13th Winery Meritage 2006 $24: tight, dusty nose, medium finish. Euro-
style. Tried with roasted Ontario lamb atop a multiple bean ragout.
-13th Winery Gamay Sandstone Old Vines 2006 $25: juicy, young and fresh,
cherries and wood, depth and body. Tried with the lamb.
-13th Winery Chardonnay Musque 2007 $18: great aromas and finish,
succulent, tried with biscotti.
-13th Winery Et Ceteras Red 2006 $19: 46%syrah, 10%sangiovese, merlot
and cabernet sauvignon also in the blend. Off-dry complexity, very Euro
in style.
The Contact Person:
The Marketing Effectiveness (numerical grade): 94.

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