Magnificent wines of Tawse Winery
Tawse Winery – Few Canadian wineries have the potential of our wine industry like Tawse winery. I first visited the winery last summer and was completely blown away by the high quality of the wines.
Founded by Moray Tawse in 2001, they claim to have “ old world inspiration, new world perfection”. Located in Niagara, this family enterprise owns more than 200 acres in vines in the Vineland/Beamsville area.They have a particular attention on crafting Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines. They produce as well Riesling, Cabernet Franc, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Syrah and Gamay.
Recently, I relived an echo of my past visit when Paul Pender, head winemaker at Tawse, came to Montreal to present a few of the winery wines. Under his leadership, Tawse achieved Ecocert organic and Demeter biodynamic certification and won several times the Canadian Winery of the year title in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2016. Furthermore, He earned the title of Winemaker of the Year at the Ontario Wine Awards in 2011.His philosophy at Tawse is “ hands off as possible, start in the vineyard and opt to be biological and biodynamic to give the best expression of terroir. All manual picking”. To hear these words was very encouraging as many wineries today choose the industrial path and produce wines with no soul.
The tasting took place at the trendy M.Mme wine bar in Montreal. The invitation was a courtesy of their joint importers: Vins Fins L’ Agence and Delaney Vins & Spiritueux. For more information on these wines, you may contact Marguerite Aghaby or Isaac Delaney at email@example.com
Wines at the tasting:
Paul started us with Spark, a Riesling based sparkling wine. Tawse grows 40 acres of the german variety. Made in the traditional method with 12 months on the lees, it has beautiful aromas of pear tart and key lime pie filling. These aromas are complemented by flavours of pineapple and lemon. Fresh and tasty, it would be the perfect wine to have with oysters.
We continued with a special cuvé of Red Stone Bistro Chardonnay 2013 ( $25.45, 12x750ml) The grapes from this wine come from the domaine (50%), and the remainder from other local Niagara vinegrowers.Redstone is the latest venture by Moray Tawse. Named after its red clay soil and large stones, the 38-acre Lincoln Lakeshore property was purchased in 2009 and apparently has an amazing hospitality centre and restaurant.
I enjoyed this Chardonnay very much and it would be perfect for a mild winter afternoon lunch. It has lovely aromas of ripe nectarines with hints of ambergris, jazmin and cloves complemented with a pleasant hint of almond cream.It is well balanced with an alluring fleshy texture and lingering finale. It should be perfect with brown butter seared scallops and polenta.
Moving on Paul presented the Chardonnay 2013 VQA Niagara Peninsula ( SAQ # 11039736, $19.95). From selected Niagara vineyards, this is a beautiful crafted wine with aromas of ripe white nectarines and light toasty wood nuances. It is elegant with a good acidity and a pretty buttery texture. Well done, Paul. I would definitely have this wine with stuffed mushrooms and cheese chicken breast in a light cream sauce.
The red wines were a show stopper as well. The Gamay Noir 2015 Redfoot Vineyard VQA Lincoln Lakeshore ( $35.95, 6x750ml) was just delicious with sexy aromas of ripe strawberries, black cherries , white pepper and delicate herbal nuances. It is finely woven in the palate with supple tannins and a lingering finale. While it is delightful to drink now, it could be kept for another 5 years. This would be a lovely wine to have with pasta alla matriciana.
Although I enjoyed very much the Gamay, my favorite was the Tawse Laundry Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2013 ( SAQ # 12211294, $33.50). The nose was very intriguing displaying roasted red bell pepper, dry parsley with black cherry fruit. On the palate, it was ripe, showing off licorice flavors with a quite particular taste of pebbles, wet earth and mud. I will have this wine anytime with flank steak fajitas. Just perfect!!
Thanks for reading and keep tuned for more wine adventures.