Pinot Noir Unfiltered 2017 – Norman Hardie.
Canada and fine wine. How is that a combination? Although Canada has a history in producing wines the most memorable wines they used to bring forward where ice wines (which makes more sense). A lot of things have happened in the past 2 decades however, and with significant investments in facilities, vineyards and knowledge things are turning around now. The new kids on the block? The cool kids.
Cool climate varieties such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc are delivering results now. And a winery that got it right from the start on is Norman Hardie. Coming from one of the new leaders in Canadian wine we are featuring their 2017 Pinot Noir in this review.
About Norman Hardie
Canadian by origin Norman moved to Europe in his early twenties to become a sommelier and get his education at the University of Dijon. Upon finishing and obtaining his degree he started working as a sommelier for Four Seasons Hotels for seven years.
In 1996 he decided he wanted to learn more about the wine regions of the world, and winemaking. He started travelling for six years apprenticing for the very best producers/winemakers of cool climate varieties in Burgundy, South Africa, Oregon, New Zealand and California.
In 2003 he moved back to Ontario, Prince Edward County, and started his own project by planting 12,000 Pinot Noir vines, after which he planted an additional 3,000 Chardonnay and 2,000 Pinot Gris vines in 2004.
About the Winery
Norman Hardie is a Canadian winery located in Prince Edward County, Ontario. It was founded in 2002 by Norman Hardie, a winemaker who has been recognized as one of the pioneers of the wine industry in Ontario. The winery produces a range of red, white, and sparkling wines using a variety of grape varieties, including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling, and Cabernet Franc.
Norman Hardie is known for producing high-quality wines that showcase the unique terroir of Prince Edward County, where the presence of Lake Ontario his of huge importance. The winery sources grapes from its own vineyards as well as from other local growers. In addition to producing wine, Norman Hardie also offers tastings and tours of the winery, and hosts events and special dinners throughout the year.
About the Wine
Norman Hardie is one of the masters of Ontario Pinot Noir. His Niagara Pinot is made in a bright and flavorful style with vivid fruit and excellent structure. The emphasis here is on delicacy and finesse. The fruit was sourced from two beautiful clay/ limestone-based sites on & just below the Bench on the Niagara Peninsula. In its upbringing it has seen 9 months of ageing in Burgundian oak and there has been some malolactic development, all to soften the wine and give it extra dimension and structure.
In the glass this Pinot shows a clear colour, the kind of tone that allows you to see straight through the glass. But do not get fooled by this, what follows is a lively fruity nose that is accentuated by spices. Red fruit such as strawberry, cranberry and cherry invite you to discover its palette. Here you come across a light to medium body, with low alcohol (only 11% ABV) delivering rich flavours and refined but grippy tannins. This wine starts to impress more and more as you experience it, with a fitting finale delivered by a long aftertaste.
Fruity, smooth and a long aftertaste. This is what highlights this wine. A wine to enjoy fresh and a little chilled, this reminds us of some of the great Pinot Noirs from Alto Adige. Well-made and affordable. A joyful glass at a strong price. Bravo Norman.
We enjoyed this wine at Restaurant de Koetsier, in a pairing with duck breast.
This wine is imported in in Belgium and the Netherlands by Vinetique and available through associated retailers and restaurants.
Taste date: December 2022
Score: 91/100 DWA Score
Website: Norman Hardie