Dan Sullivan of Rosehall Run has succeeded at crafting elegant PEC wines for over 20 years, focusing on highlighting the specific terroir of the County and creating some of the best examples of cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the world. Dan received the “Best Red Wine in Ontario” medal at the 2020 Ontario Wine Awards for his signature JCR Pinot Noir 2018. Sitting on the “Hungry Point” isthmus, surrounded by Lake Ontario on 3 sides, the vines dig deeply into the rocky, calcareous limestone soil. The long sunny days and cool evenings of the region, along with the high acid levels and low pH of the estate soils, ensure Rosehall wines are never lacking in freshness and structure. It is this kind of nervy tension that allows for the production of sublime sparkling wines, both traditional method as well as tank-fermented sparklers, including the exceedingly popular “Pixie” brand. The key to Rosehall’s success is its attention to detail in the vineyard. Sullivan believes that he simply bottles what the vineyard gives him. Yields are infinitesimally small compared to other wine regions, made smaller still by careful selection. Grapes are harvested at full phenolic ripeness, made difficult by the sometimes slow ripening and by the inherent climactic dangers of long hang times.
Nestled between Lake Ontario in the North, Lake Erie to the South and the Niagara River to the East, the Niagara Peninsula is one of Canada’s top wine producing regions. The moderating effects of the bodies of water create a moderate temperature during the growing season, similar to France’s Bordeaux and Burgundy regions. With almost 15,000 acres under vine, Niagara produces a number of grape varieties, most famously, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Cabernet Franc.
The grapes for this blend were all sourced from a single vineyard in the Twenty Mile Bench region of Niagara. The Cabernet Franc and Merlot vines are over 25 years old.
Merlot, which means ‘the little black bird’, is a Bordeaux grape variety known for being approachable as well as being able to develop with age. Cabernet Franc — the parent grape of both Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon — is a complex red, with characteristic aromas of raspberry, bramble and bell pepper.
The Cabernet Franc and Merlot were aged separately in French oak for 14 months. The final blend (60% Merlot, 40% Cab Franc) was bottled unfined and with very minimal filtration.
This succulent red delivers flavours of wild berries, cherries and vanilla with a hint of oak.