Tuesday, October 16, 2018

JoieFarm's wines get a lift from the kitchen

Photo: JoieFarm's Heidi Noble

Heidi Noble, the proprietor at JoieFarm Winery, says her winemaking was re-invigorated this fall by here experience this summer, working with the winery’s two in-house chefs.

JoieFarm took its food service up a notch or more when Heidi, a trained chef herself, took her turn in the kitchen with chefs Brian Skinner and Lina Cascheto. The service was called Le Comptoir at Joie Picnique, a step beyond the excellent wood-fired pizzas the winery has had for several years.

For Heidi, the experience illuminated how her wines could be paired with various menus. And she encourages consumers to recreate Old World recipes and pair them with her European-inspired wines.

The JoieFarm wines, in fact, have always been food friendly wines, with just the right structure and acidity to flatter whatever is on the plate. This is especially so with the exceptional “En Famille” reserve tier.

Here are notes on current releases. All are from the 2016 vintage, one of the best in the last two decades.

JoieFarm “En Famille” Reserve Riesling 2016 ($27.90 for 381 cases). This wine could also be called “Old Vines) because the grapes are from the 1978 planting at what is now St. Hubertus Vineyards. The richness of old vines is immediately apparent on the nose, where notes of petrol mingle with lemon. On the palate, there are flavours of lemon, lime and ginger framed with honeyed notes. The residual sugar is 17 grams but is nicely balanced with acidity. The mouth-filling flavours persist on the very long finish. 92.

JoieFarm “En Famille” Reserve Chardonnay 2016 ($35 for 279 cases). This wine is made entirely with Chardonnay Musqué, a spicy clone. The wine presents in the glass with a light gold hue. The barrel-fermented wine was aged 10 months in oak, with regular lees stirring. The texture fills the mouth. It has aromas of melon, peach, with an herbal note that Heidi – who is a chef – calls drawn butter. The flavours are complex – baked apple, buttery but also briny. 92.

JoieFarm “En Famille” Reserve Gewürztraminer 2016 ($27.90 for 404 cases). The wine begins with aromas of rose petal spice and lychee. On the palate, the wine has a rich, oily texture and flavours of ripe apple and quince. On the finish, there is a hint of ginger and very slight alcoholic warmth, as you might experience with a top notch Alsace Gewürztraminer. 91.

JoieFarm Gamay 2016 ($19.50 for 615 cases). Dark in hue, the wine begins with aromas of black cherry and a hint of toast (the wine was aged 10 months in oak – some new barriques, first-fill puncheons and a large neutral oak cask). On the palate, the cherry and blackberry flavours are savoury. Silky tannins lead to a fresh, juicy finish. 91.

JoieFarm PTG 2016 ($25.90 for 714 cases). This is 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Gamay Noir, a blend inspired by Burgundy.  The wine was aged 10 months in a combination of new and neutral oak. The wine begins with aromas of cherry and spice. That carries through to the flavours, along with plum. The wine has savoury, earthy notes on the finish. 91.

JoieFarm Pinot Noir 2016 ($26 for 670 cases). Rich in colour, the wine begins with aromas of cherry and tar. On the palate, there are flavours of cherry and raspberry, with savoury notes mingling oak and fruit on the finish. 90.

JoieFarm “En Famille” Reserve Pinot Noir 2016 ($40 for 474 cases). Dark in colour, with intense aromas where cherry mingles with vanilla and chocolate, this is a powerful Pinot Noir. It has flavours of raspberry and cherry with hints of chocolate and coffee. The complexity of this age-worthy wine starts with the use of four clones. The wine was aged eight months on oak (40% new, 60% neutral). 93.


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