November 23 will see the return of a premium Ontario wine label, Le Grand Clos from internationally acclaimed cool-climate winemaker, Thomas Bachelder of Le Clos Jordanne. After nearly a decade, Bachelder is back with his two top tier wines from Le Clos Jordanne – Le Grand Clos Chardonnay and Le Grand Clos Pinot Noir, both set to release via Vintages on November 23rd.
Le Clos Jordanne started producing premium Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in 2003 from some of Ontario’s finest vineyards situated on the Jordan Bench (part of the Twenty Mile Bench sub appelation in Niagara, Ontario). A decade and a half after their first release, Thomas and team are back at it again with the release of their 2017 Le Grand Clos Chardonnay and Pinot. Given how impressive his earlier wines were I’m expecting the 2017s to once again capture the attention of wine enthusiasts and top restaturants within Canada and abroad, firmly reinforcing Niagara’s ability to produce exceptional quality wines.
Bachelder’s earlier wines from Le Clos Jordanne (he crafted the 2004 to 2009 vintages) were renowned for their quality, complexity, sense of place, and ageability. A cool-climate winemaking master, Bachelder has helped put Ontario on the map of fine cool-climate winemaking and his 2017 Le Grand Clos offerings are yet again great examples of what exceptional terroir and skilled winemaking can achieve when they overlap.
With Le Clos Jordanne now formally back in the Ontario wine scene, with their latest vintage hitting shelves November 23rd at LCBO, wine lovers will be delighted to once again taste these impressive wines and look forward to enjoying this vintage, and others, for many years to come. If you didn’t have the opportunity to taste an earlier vintage of Le Grand Clos in the past decade, this is an opportunity to experience a terrific Niagara ‘Grand Cru’, and at a very reasonable price ($44.95).
Here’s my review of the 2017 Le Grand Clos Chardonnay:
The 2017 Le Grand Clos Chardonnay explodes from the glass with ripe tropical fruits, pineapple, baked apple, perfumed spring blossoms, and sweet yet subtle vanilla bean notes. One taste of this fine wine showcases how rich, complex, and unique it is, and serves as a great reminder for how loved Le Grand Clos was in earlier vintages and how much it’s been missed until now! Full bodied and beautifully textured, with zesty citrus, ripe orchard fruit, creamy butter, and toasty lees persisting on the long finish. A great example of what exceptional terroir and skilled winemaking can achieve when they overlap. I greet the return of Thomas Bachelder and Le Grand Clos with open arms and thank him, once again, for showing what’s possible here in Ontario. This is an outstanding expression of Niagara Chardonnay that I’d recommend enjoying over the next decade. A terrific wine to begin a vertical with in anticipation of other great vintages of Le Grand Clos to come. Tasted November 2019. 94 points. Matt Steeves – http://www.quercusvino.ca
My review of the 2017 Le Grand Clos Pinot Noir:
Planted with Dijon clones from Burgundy, in one of Niagara’s premiere, some say ‘Grand Cru’ quality vineyards, on the Jordan Bench, the grapes benefit from exceptional terroir for producing premium Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, as evidenced by earlier vintages and once again with the 2017 vintage of Le Grand Clos Pinot Noir. Light ruby with a garnet hue, it’s very expressive and perfumed with sweet and exotic spices, Tonka bean, menthol, chocolate, tobacco, graphite, and sous bois on the nose. My first impresion of Le Grand Clos immediately takes me back to earlier vintages with familarity, fondness, and appreication for a wine I respected grealty years ago, and once again today, I’m impressed! The palate shows a medium bodied Pinot with fresh acidity, somewhat volumptous on the mid palate for a 12.5% wine, with layers of spice, herbs, cherry, cacao, and refreshing minerality complementing the great aromatic complexity of this fine wine. As with earlier vintages, Le Grand Clos are well suited to enjoy youthful, and will evolve beautifully over a decade, perhaps longer. Tasted November 2019. 92+ points.