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.
The Twenty Mile Bench stretches east to west from Fifteen Mile Creek to west of Cherry Avenue. Bisected by Twenty Mile Creek, it has a complex topography with a distinctive double bench formation west of Twenty Mile Creek and short, varied slopes that roll to the brow of the escarpment. The sheltered north-facing slopes and air circulation from Lake Ontario provide for year round temperature moderation—ideal growing conditions for quality grapes.
Owner Bob Nedelko makes this special vineyard his home and has taken this Twenty Mile Bench property to greater heights with the replanting of Pinot Noir – The Silver Fox Block – about a decade ago. This is the first vineyard-designated offering from this terroir.
Pinot Noir grapes are black-skinned and typically very difficult to cultivate. This grape variety is very well known internationally and is grown in most winemaking regions throughout the world. Its origins trace back to the Burgundy region in France. Canada has had great success with Pinot, producing renowned wines in Prince Edward County, among other regions.
The 19-month élevage was primarily in second and third fill French oak as only two of the 11 ultimately chosen for the cuvée were new wood. Throughout the barrel maturation there were minimal sulphites added until bottling, allowing the wine to evolve unimpeded.
Smoked red berries with hints of dried rose petal on the nose. Flavours of cherry, plum and black currant with hints of dried herbs. Lively acidity is supported by toasty oak and sweet smoky characters that linger on the long finish.