Pinot Noir, Defiant 2021

Producer: Rosehall Run
Region: Ontario
Appellation: Ontario
Country: Canada
Classification: VQA
Wine Type: Red
Variety: Pinot Noir
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Alcohol: 12.5%
Farming Practices: Sustainable
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Cellar Profile

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 on a peninsula on the north shore of Lake Ontario, a short drive from Kingston, the PEC 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. Twenty Mile Bench is a sub-appellation of the larger Niagara Peninsula region, located near the town of Vineland. Limestone and sandy soils, warm summer days and cool evenings and stiff breezes coming off Lake Ontario ensure acid structure is retained, even in warmer vintages. This is cool-climate viticulture, with wonderful versions of Riesling, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay garnering international acclaim.


Selected fruit, sourced from long-standing partnerships in Niagara, as well as Estate fruit from Prince Edward County. These vineyard sites are chosen for their ability to provide fully ripe fruit, good acidity for freshness and consistent quality.


Pinot Noir grapes are black-skinned and typically very difficult to cultivate. This grape variety is well known internationally and is grown in most winemaking regions throughout the world. Its origins trace back to Burgundy, France. Canada has had great success with Pinot, producing renowned wine in Prince Edward County, among other regions.


Harvested from selected sites in the vineyards to emphasize primary fruit. The grapes are cold soaked for a few days before being gently pressed into stainless steel for a long, slow fermentation. The wine is then aged in a combination of stainless, second fill barrels and new French oak (10%).

Tasting Notes 

A riper style of Ontario Pinot Noir, with the focus on primary fruit. The nose explodes with ripe red cherry, plum and a touch of star anise. On the palate, the acidity is nicely woven into the mid-weight fruit, with cherry notes, crunchy minerality and earthy tones. The finish is surprisingly long. Serve lightly chilled on its own or with seared duck breast or grilled salmon.