12.8% alc./vol.; $9.35 at the Colio retail outlet. 2,200 cases made. Synthetic cork closure.
Beautiful, deep dark garnet colour throughout; fully transparent with a magenta-garnet tinge at the meniscus. Fantastic, complex Baco nose of brine and peppercorns, with secondary plum and cherry fruit. Properly rustic with tell-tale hickory notes chiming in. Tart entry balanced by 2 g/l residual sugar (they could have left it at 0 and I'd have been happy); overall, a substantial texture. I expect the wine to open up and integrate to a much greater degree on day two - it always does. Very balanced on the mid-palate, where diminutive tannins - proper to the variety - mingle alongside flavour replays that are consistent with the nose. Warm, balanced, pleasant finish. A tiny hint of something brett-like remains in the empty glass.
This wine, labeled under "Colio Estate", is essentially the evolution of Carlo Negri's former Harrow Estates label. The new winemaker is Tim Reilly.
As with the Harrow Estates line, which no longer exists, this Baco shows tremendous value for the money and solid winemaking. This has always been one of the best Ontario Bacos for the money. It's a restrained, balanced wine that works extremely well at the table: pork roast, ribs, pizza and lasagna are but a few favourites with which I enjoy matching it.
There is just one thing that I wish the new line had included: oak ageing! When Carlo Negri was in charge of these wines, they always featured a dash of American oak - something that I thought made them all the better. Now, the wines are simply finished in stainless steel and bottled. I have written to the winery and hope that they will reconsider this new policy of omitting the oak nuance.