80x Wine Company - 2019 Ruff Pinot Noir
When you hear a vintage described as challenging, it can be difficult to say exactly what that means. Whether it’s a late frost in the spring, a mid summer heat wave, or heavy downpours just as grapes reach maturity, it seems like nature is always throwing a curveball at us that comes to define a vintage. The 2019 vintage was no exception, and had a late start and mild summer that caused the grapes to ripen weeks later than a typical growing season in Niagara.
With it’s gentle north-facing slopes and further distance from Lake Ontario, the St. David’s Bench sub-appellation provided the perfect site for us to source our Pinot Noir. Our intrepid winemaker Adam Kern, and resident frenchman Guillaume Frénéhard took care to hand sort the fruit, keeping only the clusters that managed to ripen fully in the cool growing season. We’re always exploring new ways to express the fruit we work with here at the 80x Wine Company. This year, the team went as far as to remove the head of a barrel before harvest. This allowed the wine to ferment in the same barrel it aged in and ensure a seamless integration of flavours with the fruit.
Little did we know that our three barrels – Athos, Porthos, and Aramis – would be tucked away in the cellar during a global pandemic. While humanity endured great struggle, our lovely Pinot quietly evolved into the bottle we offer today. We humbly offer our first red wine since 2015. Lovingly named ‘Ruff’ because of the reputation for Pinot Noir to be a challenge to work with.
Given the challenge of the vintage, followed by the challenge of the pandemic, life has been a little … Ruff. Hopefully in this case the heartbreak grape leaves only a warm smile on your face.
Low alcohol is a testament to the cool 2019 summer. Notes of cherry with broad texture on the back palate. We made this wine with the goal of being ready to enjoy now, but should you decide to start adding this to your cellar you can enjoy this easily over the next three to five years.
The pooch on the bottle is Henri, the faithful pug/beagle that helps André through life’s challenging times.