In 2019, Le Clos Jordanne – highly regarded as one of Ontario’s most celebrated wine labels – made a return after some unfortunate circumstances (bad winter weather included) that led to the brand’s surprising and even questionable moratorium.
With the brand’s original winemaker (the revered Thomas Bachelder) back at the helm, Le Clos picked up right where it left off, producing two fantastic wines (one chardonnay, one pinot noir) from the outstanding 2017 vintage. No surprise to many, the wines, labeled as single vineyard ‘Le Grand Clos’, were very well received and, all things considered, very fairly priced at $44.95 each.
The release of the 2018 vintage came in the fall of 2020 and was no less embraced by critics and enthusiasts alike, as Bachelder’s interpretation of the warmer 2018 growing season provided some unique differences from the ’17 that many enjoyed the experience of being able to point out and discover for themselves.
To prove their commitment to the project (now hopefully here to stay for good), Bachelder and co. have doubled down on Le Clos. Besides making the Le Grand Clos pinot noir and chardonnay for the third vintage running, with the 2019 editions due out this fall, in 2019 Bachelder produced the ‘Jordan Village’ series of wines for the very first time.
Sourced from select parcels not just from within the Le Clos Jordanne Estate vineyard (Twenty-Mile Bench sub appellation, Niagara Escarpment), these village tiered wines also represent the return of two of the brand’s famed terroir focused sites; the Claystone Estate (also within the Twenty-Mile Bench sub appellation) and the Talon Ridge Estate vineyard, situated in the Vinemount Ridge sub appellation.
Like all of Bachelder’s wines, these first Jordan Village wines are defined by their vintage; cool, late and ultimately very ripe with lots of dry extract and verve. What we get in these wines is a rich and seamless barrel-fermented chardonnay and a pinot noir that’s a tightly-wound marvel of complex purity: “a synthesis of richness and raciness.”
“Back in late summer 2018, the idea came to us to curate an uber-blend of our three estate vineyards in the town of Jordan – a village terroir statement with no compromises.” – Thomas Bachelder
They’re wines that will no doubt put pressure on the industry to deliver more in the way of quality-to-price-ratio (QPR). At $24.95 each, these wines deliver on aroma, flavour, texture and style – very similarly to wines priced at nearly double the amount. Burgundy is never too far away when Bachelder crafts his wines, and so, these wines are made for those Burgundy addicts who don’t feel the need or the want to spend in the triple digits.
“How many of us get the chance to ‘reboot’ ourselves in life?,” asks Thomas Bachelder. “Well, we’ve done just that – using the same venerated terroirs as we did before – with the vines now older, making even more suave, ageable wines.”
All wines at Le Clos Jordanne are sustainably farmed in order to preserve the natural balance of the vines and respect for their terroir. The wine growing team uses traditional practices in the vineyard, which helps maintain the quality of the fruit and its aromatic identity. Each parcel is treated individually according to its terroir specifics, and each vine is cared for by hand from pruning through to harvest.
“It has been a work of love, passion, intellect and of staying the course,” continues Bachelder. “We are immensely proud of our new offspring… we are proud of the terroir of Jordan.”
Le Clos Jordanne 2019 ‘Jordan Village’ Chardonnay
Through the blending of four different parcels, this chardonnay establishes its complex nature straight away. Stone fruits, lemon drop and pear possess the senses. There’s melon, sweet pineapple and Niagara’s signature saline minerality all establishing itself ever so beautifully here. As Bachelder says: “With greater vine age, we sense even greater delicacy, and yet – confoundingly – a greater weight that will certainly grow up around the wine in bottle.” Prime drinking window according to Bachelder is 2022-2026, but if you can’t wait that long, this will surely complement your Thanksgiving or Christmas meal this year. Based on the quality of the vintage, the price of this wine is pleasantly mind boggling. ($24.95)
Le Clos Jordanne 2019 ‘Jordan Village’ Pinot Noir
Give this paler coloured pinot a chance to open up (whether in your glass or in a small decanter) and witness it blossom from seemingly plain varietal to grand cru status worthy of the vineyard land and winemaker it hails from. Rose petals, plums, hints of strawberry and raspberry envelope the senses. The mouthfeel becomes full and plush, with chalky acidity on the finish. Bachelder says “This Jordan Village is a defined terroir wine – and from a year that was ‘one for the record books.’ Put some of this away for a few years and watch it blossom from 2023-2028.” Once again, I’m simply giddy over the price point. ($24.95)
The Jordan Village Chardonnay has been released to the LCBO in Ontario and is slowly making its way on shelves across the province. The pinot noir should reach shelves by Thanksgiving, however both of these wines are available right now at https://shop.leclosjordanne.com/shop.