I recently made a visit to Five Rows winery for the first time. There’s a good chance you haven’t heard of this small winery. The reason is simple, there really isn’t a lot of wine being made here. This winery is the definition of cult following. Winemaker and grape grower Wes Lowrey updates a blog periodically with what is going on at the winery. How this blog differs from many wineries is that it’s not just a list of events, but it’s a true behind the scenes look at what is going into your bottles when you buy them. When you buy your wine from Wes you can also register each numbered bottle on the Five Rows website to share your experience with other fans of the wine. Five Rows isn’t just a place to buy a bottle but it’s a place to join a community.
2014 Cabernet Sauvignon – (Bottle 853) – $55.00 – **** – A solid Cabernet Sauvignon from St David’s Bench this offers up aromas and flavours of blackberry, plum and currant. The tannin and wine is very young and is crafted to spend some time in your cellar. If you plan on enjoying it while young make sure you have your decanter available. I anticipate this bottle being ready to drink in 4 years but you can hold for a decade easily.
2014 Pinot Noir – (Bottle 901) – $55.00 – **** – The nose offers dark cherry and a heavy damp earthiness that envelops the fruit. On the palate the fruit moves from dark cherry to plum and blackberry before being caressed by the earthiness that was heavy on the nose. This wine finishes with nice acidity keeping this wine light on the palate.
2016 Sauvignon Blanc – (Bottle 1309) – $35.00 SOLD OUT – ***** – I don’t like writing about wines that are sold out, and I don’t like using the term “best ever” when it comes to wine. But, this Sauvignon Blanc is certainly one of the finest wines I have ever tasted from Ontario. The aromas were perfectly ripe tropical fruit, pink grapefruit and just a hint of grassiness. The concentration of the flavours from the first sip is simply stunning and something that needs to be savoured. These concentrated flavours match the nose with what feels like endless depth. This wine finishes with nice acidity but the tropical note on this wine finishes long. This vintage is sold out, but I am going to be watching for the next vintage with anticipation.
2016 Riesling – (Bottle 1297) – $35.00 – **** – This is a solid example of what is great about Riesling in Ontario. Mineral, check – Lime, check – Apples, check. The mineral note to this wine is like the rug in the Big Lebowski it just ties the room together. Simply put, this is an easy drinking bottle that is approachable now, or you can cellar for 5-7 years.