Wednesday, September 9. 2015
Lightfoot & Wolfville, established in 2009, is a carefully researched and meticulously planned operation which does not plan to open its doors as a full-fledged winery until 2016. Owner, Mike Lightfoot, who hails from a multi generation local farming family, is committed to practicing biodynamic agriculture in certified organic vineyards. Family members, Jocelyn and Rachel are also fully involved with the project. Working with young local Winemaker, Josh Horton and Consultant, Peter Gamble, Lightfoot’s focus is on classic Viniferas including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling, as well as other German-styled whites selected as most suitable for specific microclimates.
I have tasted barrel samples of several of their wines on two occasions. Like others who have had the same opportunity, I was astonished by the superior quality. I noted at the time that if these wines showed as well when released, the 2013 Traditional Method Sparkling Chardonnay; both the 2013 and 2014 oak-fermented Chardonnays, and the 2013 Pinot Noir, should be good enough to challenge some of the best this country has yet produced.
The 2013 Chardonnay and 2013 Pinot Noir were recently released in very limited quantities, available only from the Bishop’s Cellar. I have opted not to review the Pinot at this point as I feel it should have a little more time to recover from bottle shock after bottling. Also, apparently, it has already sold through.
Lightfoot & Wolfville’s Tidal Bay has just been released and is included below.
Lightfoot & Wolfville Vineyards Ancienne Wild Fermented Chardonnay 2013, Nova Scotia 13% $40.00 (Extremely Limited Quantity) The Bishop’s Cellar, Bishop’s Landing, Halifax Subtle rich character is revealed on the nose with lemon citrus, buttery spice, hazelnut, and a deft touch of oaky vanillin. Rounded richness plays through on the palate with incisive green apple and citrus flavours, focused minerality and brisk acidity. Bright fruit and mellow, leesy notes linger on the finish. This extraordinary wine was bottled quite recently. It will continue to develop for a long time to come. Give it at least another couple of years. ***
Lightfoot & Wolfville Tidal Bay 2014, Nova Scotia $22.00 The Bishop’s Cellar A fine example of Nova Scotia’s signature Tidal Bay Appellation, with classic aromatic fresh floral and lively green fruit scents. Grassy herbal notes are reminiscent of Sauvignon. Crisp green apple is the dominant flavour, backed by vibrant acidity and fine mineral grip. Finishes a little drier than most examples of Tidal Bay. ***
Blomidon Estate Winery Unoaked Chardonnay 2014, Nova Scotia $22.00 Available at larger NSLC Stores, Harvest Wines, Bishop’s Cellar and the Winery Store. Tasted blind, one could all too easily be in Burgundy, not quite Chablis, perhaps, but awfully similar. Bright green apple opens on the nose and expands further in the mouth, together with a background citrus note. Exhibits impressive dynamic balance, with zesty acidity and lively minerality tempered by elegant creamy texture. Another showcase expression of Nova Scotia’s unique terroir. ***
86 Blomidon Estate Winery Marechal Foch 2010, Nova Scotia 12% $35.00 Available at the Halifax Seaport Market and the Winery Store only. Good depth of red and dark berry fruit on the nose, with tarry, lightly smoky notes, a splash of vanillin and dark chocolate. Blackcurrant and bitter dark cherry kick in on the palate with forward acidity and firm dry tannic grip. **
Chateau Castenet 2011, Bordeaux Supérieur AC 13% $19.99 Cristall Wine Merchants, Sunnyside Mall, Bedford Characteristic Bordeaux style scents of earthy plum, green herb, a touch of clove, and blackcurrant. Blackcurrant, black plum and bitter cherry provide the dominant flavours, supported by balanced acidity and moderately dry tannic grip. **
Chateau Relais de la Poste 2012, Côtes de Bourg AC 13.5% $23.99 Cristall Wine Merchants Complex ripe blackcurrant, red currant, a touch of green herb, cinnamon, clove, vanilla and mocha on the nose. Blackberry and blackcurrant flavours come wrapped in velvety smooth tannins. Good balancing acidity and a splash of dark chocolate round out this delicious, approachable wine. ***
Boutinot 2012, Barbera Da Vine DOC Piemonte, Italy 14% $14.29 (Special Price $2 Off) NSLC General List. Shows good Barbera varietal style with scents of plum, cherry, cinnamon and a whiff of herb, typically high acidity with bitter cherry and dark plum on the medium weight palate. **
Two Oceans Moscato 2014, Wine of Origin Western Cape, South Africa 8% $12.49 NSLC General List A charming aperitif style with scents of tropical flowers, tropical fruit and a whiff of grapefruit. Delicate honeyed citrus flavour in the mouth with refreshing acidity and a pleasant touch of sweetness on the finish. ***
Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Valle Central, Chile $12.49 (Special Price) NSLC General List Typical Chilean Cabernet aromatic profile offers piquant blackcurrant and fresh green herb with background ripe blackberry. Sweet ripe blackberry leads on the palate, with rounded tannins, clean, well-balanced acidity and a splash of dark chocolate. **
*Good value in its price range
** Particularly good value in its price range
***Exceptional value in its price range