$39.95 / 750ml (Ontario Price Shown)
Suitable for Vegans & Vegetarians.
92 points - "Allier is in reference to the oak barrels fashioned from the forest in central France immediately to the south of Nievre. Southbrook's winemaker Ann Sperling joins other scientific/artisan exploratory winemaking peers to produce this first investigative 2013, an estate grown, small-lot, barrel selection chardonnay. Sperling is seeking interesting aspects from the vintage as much as she is conducting a barrel study. The élevage buys into a three-pronged barrel approach, one new, one second fill and a third older "to show the influence of the wood and the forest on the wines." Incidentally ’13 had the lowest hydro bills indicative of healthy vines in the warm year and especially notable for good nitrogen intake. This translates to great concentration and a compression happening in barrel, not in the vineyard, so the Niagara creamed corn note will increase in presence with age. This will remind like 2000, but also 2008. It is a great example to teach a class on the slow evolution of ’13. Chardonnay of great concern, précis and vitality. Like old Chablis. Drink 2017-2021. Tasted January 2017."
- Michael Godel, WineAlign.com
92 points - "Sperling conducted a fascinating experiment with small parcels of her estate’s organic and biodynamic Chardonnay, vinifying and aging the same fruit in various French oak treatments. I tasted the range over a year ago when they weren’t finished wines, but was struck by the myriad flavours oak imparts. The range of this curious small lot experiment is being released this spring. This wine is aged 11 months in a combination of new and older oak from the Allier forest in the centre of France, or the “bois de centre.” The oak there is thought to be tighter grained than other forests, but not the tightest grain available in France. I’m struck by the flinty minerality on the nose and the gorgeous spice notes that are well integrated with creamy pear and baked apple aromas. It is rich and elegant on the palate with gorgeous texture, minerals and baked-spice notes. There is citrus freshness on the finish. Will age quite well, but irresistible right now."
- Rick Vansickle, WinesInNiagara.com
90-92 points - "Orchard fruit, fennel, cold cream; lean, focused and spicy, with crisp acidity and a long, dry and mineral finish; wild...in a good way; needs some time to come together."
- Zoltan Szabo
****+ - "Compared to the other wines in the Chardonnay flight this stood out as something completely different. The nose had a candied aroma to it with creamy vanilla and soft mineral on the end."
- Andre Proulx, Wine Review with Andre Proulx
****/91+ - Dean Tudor, Wine Trade Winds Diary
After careful selection, cluster sorting and gentle pressing of the Chardonnay grapes, the juice was cool settled and racked to barrel. This 2 barrel blend of Chardonnay from our organic and biodynamic estate spent 11 months in barrels constructed of oak sourced from the Allier Forest. 100% new oak. Primary fermentation and malolactic conversion were indigenous and the wine was only lightly bentonite fined prior to bottling.
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