PEC adventure, Part II: …and the awesome wines from Exultet

Blessed be the Chardonnay …on we travelled on to Exultet Estates.

(by: Rick VanSickle, Wines in Niagara, July 2014)     

Exultet Estate Great Ontario WinesLocated in the most southern portion of Prince Edward County, a centuries’ old farm, once the site for a dairy operation, cheese factory, and apple orchard, has been resurrected to a new life, enriched with flowering grapevines and aging wines. Reuse of the former 1870’s Royal Street Cheese Factory at the winery has allowed for minimal impact to the environment, while at the same time preserving a piece of rich County heritage.

The vineyards were first planted in 2004 are nurtured on limestone rich soils within view of Lake Ontario. The hand-tended and hand-picked fruit is grown with organic materials when possible and minimal chemical use.

There to greet us is owner and winemaker Gerry Spinosa, riding a big high these days after his Blessed Chardonnay won Best Oaked Chardonnay over $20 at the Ontario Wine Awards for the 4th year in a row.

We get a taste of The Blessed and are blown away by the aromatics of pear-vanilla, minerals, apple-toffee and the lovely generous fruit and spice on the palate. It has weight yet is perfectly balanced by the acidity.

Spinosa also poured us his delightful Pinots, The Beloved 2011, cruX 2011 and regular cuvee Pinot Noir. All of Exultet’s Pinots are made in an elegant style with intense fruits that dance lightly on the palate. Such balance and complexity of flavours. Exultet has quickly emerged as an important PEC producer.

Some Exultet wines reviewed:

Exultet The Blessed Chardonnay 2012 ($40, winery, 93 points) — A beautiful bottle of wine, well deserved of the four consecutive Gold medals at the Ontario Wine Awards, with impressive aromatics of pear-vanilla-toast, apple-toffee, cream and a vein of minerality that complements the fruit and spice. It is voluptuous on the palate with generous fruit and spice and enough acidity to keep this opulent wine in balance.

Exultet The Beloved Pinot Noir 2011 ($50, winery, 92 points) — A lovely Pinot with notes of cherry, beetroot, cranberry, violets and cinnamon spices. It is finessed and silky on the palate with a complex array of red fruits and spice that dance lightly on the palate.

Exultet cruX Pinot Noir 2011 ($39, winery, 90 points) — The cruX shows more earthiness and bramble on the nose than The Beloved with the cherry and other red fruits in the background. In the mouth, this Pinot possesses great finesse and verve while balancing the earthy fruit and spice.