Rosehall Run – Spring 2017

I made a long overdue visit to Rosehall Run in the spring and had the opportunity to see what winemaker Dan Sullivan is working on in the cellar. Some of the most creative winemaking in Ontario is taking place on Greer Road whether it’s at Norman Hardie’s, Casa Dea or Rosehall Run. Dan approaches the winemaking with unbridled enthusiasm and the broad portfolio at this winery offers something for anyone who walks through the door. Last year I had the opportunity to taste Ceremony, the first champagne style sparkling wine, and even today the wine is still evolving and getting better. But if this wine is too austere for your taste the very affable Pixie and Indigo are ready to grace your patio.

Needless to say that upcoming releases from Rosehall will be anything but boring. I think the best part of Rosehall Run right now, is that there is a focus on quality and affordability. This post features four wines all under twenty dollars. The Hungry Point Chardonnay is made with VQA Prince Edward County fruit and it comes in at a very reasonable $19.95. That in itself makes a visit to the winery worthwhile.

Here is what is new at Rosehall Run right now.

2016 Rosehall Run June One Rosé – $17.95 – ****+ – This Rosé is made 90% with Gamay and 10% with Pinot Noir. The fruit is rich on the nose with strawberry and cherry. On the palate the fruit opens up with the same richness you have on the nose. But the finish starts to bring up some slight grapefruit notes as the wine finishes bone dry with a crisp acid finish. The concentration of red fruit flavours is impressive and gives this wine enough depth that it will hold up well next to barbequed red meat (I enjoyed this wine with smoked Brisket) but it is still light enough that it will be just at home next to grilled veggies or a summer salad.

2016 Rosehall Run Defiant Pinot Noir – LCBO 307769 – $18.95 – **** – This is an interesting entry level pinot from Ontario. If anything this is a reminder of how good Ontario wine can be without spending a lot of money. When I opened this bottle, it was exactly what I was expecting. There were nice cherry notes but a lot of earthiness and the tannin was a little grippy. Something that would make a good match to barbeque in the summer or stewed meats in the winter. As I tasted into the bottle it took about 2 hours to open up and this wine transformed into something elegant. This bottle is priced to be enjoyed the day you buy it, but I think this is a bottle that is destined to spend a couple years in a cellar to relax.

2016 Rosehall Run “The Righteous Dude” Riesling – $19.95 – The fruit comes from the Beamsville bench which is home to some of the best Riesling in the province. This bottle from Rosehall Run is a welcome and worthy addition to fantastic bottles from Vineland, Megalomaniac, Flat Rock to name a few. The aromas are loaded with lime and mineral. Flavours match the nose and this wine finishes with great acidity. There is a slight sweetness on the mid palate that keeps the fruit fresh and vibrant. With alcohol coming in at 10% this is a perfect bottle for a hot summer day and a patio.

2016 Rosehall Run Hungry Point Unoaked Chardonnay – $19.95 – **** – This bottle comes from Prince Edward County fruit. I love having unoaked Chardonnay in the house because it’s a little more crowd pleasing than Riesling but it’s just as food friendy. The problem with a lot of unoaked Chardonnay is that it can be a little boring. This wine is definitely not boring. A highlight of this wine is the texture, it’s a little heavy and while flavours of apple and peach open up a nice mineral note follows. Simply put, this is great winemaking. This wine offers the mouth feel of a Chardonnay that has spent some time in barrel, but even with the extra depth and character it is a wine that will be crowd pleasing.

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