By DEAN TUDOR
The Time and Date: Thursday, November 27, 2008 3PM to 7 PM
The Event: a 2007 Futures offering from Lailey Vineyard in Niagara on the Lake. Derek Barnett is the winemaker, Ed Haddon the sommelier.
The Target Audience: private clients.
The Availability/Catalogue: Three of the 2007 vintage wines are already in bottle (Counterpoint, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay), the remaining 7 are barrel samples. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay will be out in February, the balance in April. Futures orders were taken on site.
The Quote: Derek has had a long association with Lailey, buying fruit from them when he was winemaker at Southbrook, In the fall of 2001, he moved to NOTL and joined Lailey as a winemaker and business partner.
The Wines: it was hard to taste the reds since they were barrel samples. The pinot was the most advanced.
The Venue: Fine Wine Reserve, 439 King Street, West Toronto
The Wines :
**** Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
– Lailey Sauvignon Blanc 2007. $20. Some oak treatment. 140 cases.
– Lailey Chardonnay Old Vines. $35. 1200 bottles. 35 year old vines.
– Lailey Pinot Noir Old Vines. $40. 100 cases, extended toasted oak.
***1/2 Three and a Half Stars (88-90):
– Lailey Counterpoint 2007. $25 (white blend, 58% gewürztraminer, sauvignon blanc, riesling, chardonnay 14% each). 140 cases.
– Lailey Cabernet Sauvignon 2007. $25. 200 cases.
– Lailey Meritage Canadian Oak 2007. $35. Nice integration already.
*** Three Stars (85-87):
– Lailey Chardonnay 2007 Niagara River. $25. 1 year oak.
– Lailey Syrah Canadian Oak 2007. $35. Like a young St. Joseph.
– Lailey Cabernet Franc 2007. $35.
– Lailey Impromptu 2007. $40. 200 cases, blend of 60% syrah, 20% cabernet sauvignon, 10% Malbec, 10% petit Verdot. Should be approachable 3-5 years. Second vintage for this wine.
The Food: charcuterie and cheeses.
The Upside: good wines and company
The Downside: it was at the end of a long tasting day.
The Contact Person: www.laileyvineyard.com
The Marketing Effectiveness (numerical grade): 89.