Lieutenant Govenor's Wine Awards

2011 Exultet Estates ‘The Blessed’ Chardonnay  

The 2009, 2010 and 2011 Ontario vintages were about as different as they come in the wine world, but for Exultet the one commonality is that its Chardonnay continues to standout as one of the province's best. It seems the combination of their property and co-owner and winemaker Gerry Spinosa's careful approach in the vineyard is producing distinct, remarkable, award-winning Chardonnay. This 2011 vintage may be the best yet as it combines the strengths of the previous two vintages. It possesses concentrated flavours of apricot, tangerine, pineapple and caramelised pear that are reminiscent of the initial vintage in 2009, and seamlessly weaves them together with elegant floral aromas like the 2010 with hints of: cantaloupe and orange blossom. Still, Spinosa's most remarkable talent  is his deft hand with the barrel. A spicy nutmeg and a distinct nutty-kernel flavour come through on the finish enhancing the overall experience without overpowering, just like a well-garnished dish. But where this Chardonnay really separates itself is its wonderful texture. It's like cashmere in it that it's luxuriously rich and comforting. But at the same time it never feels overly indulgent as it showcases the county's greatest strength—a taught tension provided by lively acidity and an electricity of crushed limestone minerality. It's sold out now but make sure you get on the list for the 2012.