Location: Whitby, Ontario, Canada

Born in Malta but in Canada since age 5. Has written three books and presently does several columns about wine and food for various magazines.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Le Clos Jordanne----The Journey Continues

Comments On Le Clos Jordanne and 2006
Winemakers: Thomas Bachelder and Sebastien Jacquey
The vintage 2006 was not the easiest one to grow grapes and eventually make wine in! However, in the right hands, with careful selection, picking and winemaking even a rainy vintage can be made a success.
So it was with the wines of Clos Jordanne and this was evident at the introductory tasting/launch of the 2006 vintage that was held at Currie Hall (School for the National Ballet of Canada) at 105 Maitland Street East in Toronto.
Mr. Jay Wright, CEO and President of Vincor Canada, A Constellation Company, quoted Jean- Charles Boisset of Boisset La Famille des Grands Vins et Spiritueux-----a partner with Vincor in Le Clos as it is lovingly called in saying that at Le Clos Jordanne, there is a "sense of place"!
Indeed, when I first saw it, the vines had not been long in the ground and the vintages were but a dream for then CEO Donald Triggs and Jean-Charles. The vines are now mature and the concentric rows of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are a beautiful sight to see.
The wines also are a sight to behold from the beautifully designed bottles to the splendid examples of terroir---the Pinots and Chardonnays are among the best examples that exist either inside or outside of Burgundy.
"The 2000 or so cases that are made and distributed are sold out almost immediately," Wright continued, "I am very pleased to say that the wines are available in Tokyo, South East Asia and the United Kingdom. At the Four Seasons, the Village Reserve wines are sold by the glass."
One thing that this writer has noticed and in fact has pointed out in magazine articles (recently in "East of the City" magazine under the title, "The Changing Face Of Canadian Wine") that Canadians are showing a change in character so to speak in praising their own! The LCBO will be naming the Le Clos Jordanne Village Reserve its "Wine Of The Month" for December. At $30 this quality wine is indeed a bargain!
Jean-Charles Boisset called the 2006 vintage "classy, elegant but also silky and powerful------a wine/vineyard that the more I taste and see; the more I get excited."
Why is this wine so good. First and foremost, the vineyard was well planned and laid out at the beginning. The best Burgundian clones were used on the best grafts possible for the soil underneath the vineyard. Also Organic/Bio dynamic farming is used. There are no synthetic fertilizers and pesticides used. Boisset describes it as "a way of letting the soil speak and encouraging Mother Nature to do her best----producing a wine that no where else exists!"
Boisset goes on to say that people through organic farming, become part of the terroir!
Thomas Bachelder, chief winemaker of Le Clos, reiterated the message! Everything being done by hand---"capturing the essence of the vineyard in the wine while on the trail of the terroir!"
Thomas touched on the fact that difficult years such as 2006 do not mean bad wine. "We react to the vineyard by allowing it to become what it will be!"
The Wines
Pinot Noir
Le Clos Jordanne Village Reserve:
The Village Reserve is a blend of the Talon Ridge Vineyard from the Vinemount Ridge appelation and selected lots of Le Clos, La Petit and Claystone Vineyards from the Twenty Mile Bench.
The wine is cherry red in colour with a light sour cherry nose with hints of olive oil (minerality) and fresh cut wood shavings. On the palate, I found the wine young with a strong acidity and red fruit flavours. The lenght was medium to long with an excellent acid base . $30 Will be wine of the month at the LCBO in December. A must buy for any Pinot lover!
Le Clos Jordanne La Petite Vineyard:
Situated on sandy soil, this vineyard is quite small (3.5 acres) but delivers some of the most perfumed wines in Le Clos generally. Elegant and stylish with floral and berry bouquet it has rich red fruit on the palate with less minerality than the other vineyards but a good acidity that remains on the finish. The acidity will intergrate further with the wine in time to make this wine a lovely piece of art. If I was to describe it in cat terms, this would be the sleek and refined Cheetah to that of a roaring Lion or the Village Reserve's Leopard. $40
Claystone Terrace:
This writer loves roaring Lions to be and Claystone comes out punching. Power is its name and though there are more powerful wines (it is Pinot of course) one cannot deny the punch. Dark in colour and somewhat closed to the nose but a note of mineral and dark fruit. There is an edge to this wine that shows upcoming character and on the palate it is very pleasing. It still needs some time to integrate but already has red and dark fruit flavours of cherry, blackberry, pepper spice with the hope of things to come. Definitely my favourite of the whole group as it tells you who it is and where it comes from. $40 (well worth it and I plan to get some!)
Le Clos Jordanne Vineyard:
Not far from Claystone is the above vineyard. It is a different wine. Not as dark as the Claystone nor as elegant as La Petit, Le Clos Jordanne falls somewhere in between. It is the potential to be more complex than its peers being both powerful and elegant. It is the sleek and stylish Black Panther compared to the Lion and the Cheetah. The wine has a foreward fragrance of roses and wild flowers. A mixture of ripe cherrys and a touch of black berry mingle with a touch of citrus on the palate. These with a background of minerality give the wine a lovely mouthfeel that has an excellent lenght to it. Again there is the acidity that I have noticed with all the Le Clos Reds. $40
Le Clos JordanneLe Grand Clos:
Potentially the longest lived on the Clos Jordanne Wines (probably a toss up between Claystone), this wine does not want to reveal itself right away and will need time to develop. It would be a shame to purchase this wine and drink it until there is about a year or two (probably closer to the two) for it to integrate and develop. I noticed a strong minerality and some floral and fruit on the nose (mainly dark), some smoke and tobacco was also present. There was the same sense on the palate though there are definitely expressions of what is to come. It is not a roaring lion that reveals where it is but a silent Tiger waiting to pounce and show that it is the most powerful. Who would win? That depends on who you, the taster, are! $70
Le Clos Jordanne: Village Reserve :
One would expect that the Village Reserve being made up of several vineryards (Talon, Claystone, Le Clos Jordanne) it would be foreward and ready to drink---after all it is the least expensive. Not so! The wine though very pleasant especially on the palate (apple, pear, butter along with citrus) comes through very slowly on the nost indicating that there is much anticipated development to come. $30
Le Clos Jordanne Claystone Terrace:
This wine is definitely my favourite (as is the Claystone Pinot) and probably says something about my palate. Where the Village Reserve is a Hawk, the Claystone is a Bald Eagle. Again, it has power with very round full mouthfeel and strong fruit flavours of pear, melon and tempered citrus that are held together with a stone pebble mineral flintiness reminiscent of a great Chablis (though it is not a Chablis). Butter and butterscotch complete the taste with a wine that has amazing length. A Keeper! $40
Le Clos Jordanne Vineyard:
Not as powerful as Claystone, it seemed to have more colour and more elegant than the preceeding wine. Likened to a Peregrine Falcon it seems to have more finesse and style with a floral bouquet with a touch of vanilla and butter on the nose and light fruit flavours of pear, apple and lemon peel on the palate with an acidity and minerality on the finish. $40
Le Grand Clos:
If there were to be a Canadian Grand Cru Chablis but better, this would be it! Vanilla, pear, citus, butter give way to a strong mineral flintiness that can be described as edgy to say the least. This Harpy Eagle of a wine needs time, and if given it, will reward with lucious flavours that at this time can only be imagined. $65

The Event Meal:
What does one eat with such wines? The answer of course is "Burgundy Style!"
How about what was served after the above tasting!
French Bread and Organic Salad (tomatoes, cucumbers, mozzarella, basil in balsamic)
Side Entrees!
Mashed Potatoes with Parsnips and Parsley
Roasted Rood Vegetables
Braised Brussel Sprouts and Chestnuts,
Green Beans Provencal and Garlic.
Main Entrees!
Duck Leg Confit with Tomato Chutney and Herb Garnish
Beef Bourguignon
Halibut Filet in Mushroom Cream Sauce
Mini French Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee
Poached Pears with a Chantilly Cream Sauce

The event ended well with Wine Food and Travel writer Alex Eerspaecher taking a few shots of this writer together with Jean-Charles Bosset of "La Famille des Grands Vins et Spiritueux".
This writer decided to enjoy the salad and bread with a touch of the Village Reserve Chardonnay and enjoyed the main meal with the Village Reserve Pinot Noir.
The wines of Le Clos Jordanne can be purchased "on line" as of October 15th (only in Ontaria). Please go to to view website and also to order.