Classic traditional method bubbly. Aromas of biscuit, baking bread and lemon are joined by ripe apple and stone fruits on the nose. The mousse is creamy and silky with bracing but well-integrated acidity. This is definitely traditional method on the palate, however the leesy character is more subtle than you might expect from the extended aging. Chill well and enjoy with fresh oysters or a special occasion.
Chardonnay is one of the world’s most popular white wine grapes and is often used in the production of sparkling wine. Its origins come from France, where it has been growing for centuries. It can now be found in winemaking regions across the world, including wonderful examples from Prince Edward County. Typically, Chardonnay wines exhibit fruit flavours ranging from tropical and stone fruits to citrus and apple. Styles can range from heavily oaked and toasty to light and unoaked. Oaked version have buttery, vanilla, spice and creamy flavours whereas unoaked Chardonnay tends to be more crisp and fresh.
Nestled on a peninsula on the north shore of Lake Ontario, a short drive from Kingston, the Prince Edward County wine region sits on a bed of porous limestone. This is crucial for creating the mineral, brightly acidic wines the region is known for. The vineyards benefit from breezes off of Lake Ontario, keeping the temperature down on hot summer days and cool at night. “The County” was first settled in the late 18th Century and, after years of farmland agriculture, began growing grapes in earnest by the early 2000s.
Dan Sullivan and his family selected the location of Rosehall Run winery in the early 2000s because of its proximity to Lake Ontario and the remarkable Hillier clay soil, which is scattered with numerous rock and shale fragments on a limestone base. This soil is similar in composition to the soils of the Champagne region in France, so it is no wonder that the vineyards yield grapes that make beautiful cool climate wines. As luck would have it, Rosehall Run has taken full advantage of the similarities of its terroir to Champagne…to produce their first traditional method sparkling wine!
Estate-grown Chardonnay is selected for its nervy acidity. After hand-sorting and gentle pressing, the base wine is fully fermented in stainless steel and then bottled. Secondary fermentation is induced in the bottle, which is then sealed with a crown cap. The wine rests on its gross lees for 42 months, with regular hand riddling before being disgorged and then sealed with cork and capsule.
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.