Saturday, July 4, 2020
2019 Henry of Pelham Old Vines Baco Noir (Ontario VQA)
I enjoy the regular bottling, finding it to be well made, well balanced, and stylistically elegant. The Old Vines version is sold in a tall, heavier bottle, and is closed with a natural (albeit particle) cork enclosure. The regular bottling, by contrast, has been closed with a screw cap for the past few years—a sensible, functional choice.
The 2019 Old Vines Baco is 13.5% alc./vol. and sells for about $20 at the LCBO. It pours with a gorgeous, saturated, deep-beet-red/purple colour that turns into a neon magenta at the meniscus—a common feature of the V. riparia hybrid reds. The nose is very oaky right off the bat, showing plummy/blackcurrant fruit and juicy acidity that is eager to carry that same fruit along the palate. On the palate, it is invigoratingly tart, zingy, and refreshing—with good mid-palate heft coming from both the tart berries and the oak overlay. Excellent quality. Following this fruit-and-oak crescendo, the aft-palate character of the wine accentuates the oak, which leaves a pleasant spicy finish.