Tag Archives: colaneri estates

Previously Unexplored Wineries Part Deux – Colaneri Estate Winery

18 Apr

colaneriSince my next Daily Slosh post will feature wines using the recioto, appassimento, and ripasso techniques, I thought I’d mention, in advance, my trip to a newer and exciting winery in Niagara on the St. David’s Bench. I won’t get in to the methods themselves because we can all Google. Plus most of you guys have as much, if not more, experience with them than me. So, to the winery we go.

When we decided to venture to the Colaneri Estate Winery (photograph above by Fred Couch), I have to say that I hadn’t heard much about it. Their wines are mostly available at the road side or on-line and reviews seem to concentrate on readily available wines. Shows that I have to work harder. Colaneri is located beneath Sir Issac Brock’s glare. He’s actually facing the other direction but he’s close by, you can feel him – spooky. As you approach this winery from Concession 6, you might think that you’re arriving at a large Italian villa located amidst a vineyard. The façade is striking (picture above – doesn’t quite do it justice). It’s hard to believe that it’s not just a façade but it houses real functional buildings; event rooms, tasting rooms, and the working winery itself. It is really cool. Great story about their family here.

Upon arriving through the big wooden door to the tasting area, Arlene and I were met with the smell of garlic and rosemary and friendly greetings. I thought that it was out of place, the garlic and rosemary that is, until I was told that mother was cooking Sunday dinner. OK, I’ll selfishly admit that I thought that we should have been invited. What better way to taste wine than to do it amid the smells of home cooking? It made us feel at home.

The Colaneri family dries their harvested grapes for most of their wines before squishing them or uses the ripasso method and adds the must from one wine to another to add some funk and muscle. I never imagined that this would be a good strategy in Ontario but that shows you what I know. What this does for my experience is concentrate the flavours and lend an air of maturity to the wines. Let me first explain that the wines are not named after varietals. Most names have something to do with the family’s history and Italian culture. And the labels – as well connected to the family – require an explanation. Very cool and in today’s wine culture of varietal names and nonsense labels, requires some courage. I’ll speak about our two favourite wines.

paeseThe 2009 Paese $27.95, Chardonnay – ‘paese’ meaning, in this case, home or hometown. Although many of their white wines use either the recioto or appassimento methods (sauvignon blanc, chenin blanc, pinot grigio, Gewurztraminer), the chardonnay is made traditionally. Its fruit is intense on the nose (more intense than most Ontario chardonnay IMHO) and is delivered with a more tropical theme – not Tommy Bahama shirt tropical (style) but Dole tropical (substance). The oak aging is front and centre, the style loved by Arlene; meaning we went home with a few of these babies. I think this would benefit (more nuanced and together) from some time under the stairs but it is great now too. Let’s see how long they last.

insiemeThe 2009 Insieme $34.95. I believe it means ‘together’ and has Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah. This wine uses the appassimento method and is a leathery, full-bodied beauty with dried fruits a la Amarone although not quite the elevated alcohol. A Jimmy Durante nose that carries almost all the stuff you’re about to taste. Perfect with a meal of roast red meat (think I’d choose lamb – was it lamb that mother was cooking?) with vegetables that were cooked alongside the roast. Drinks great now but could also cellar.

You can purchase at the winery, on-line www.colaneriwines.com or by phone 905-682-2100. They tell me they’ll deliver to your door! Or join their wine club 

Get out to Colaneri the next time you’re doing a winery crawl in Niagara! And, remember: Crawl Responsibly!

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