Meritage, meritage, meritage…I’m beginning to see a theme
here……I'm also starting to see the birth of a good problem...wanting your cake and eating it too...and that's where Leonard Oakes comes in.
OK, so the Oakes Family has a 90 year history of ties to
agriculture and the land in the northwest corner of Orleans County, somewhere on the Niagara Wine Trail. In 2003 they
planted their first wine grapes. From that initial planting of six acres and
fourteen varieties has evolved what is known today as Leonard Oakes Estate
At LynOaken Farms, they are now farming the same land with
the fourth generation. The unique and fertile soils left behind by the glaciers
of the last ice age combined with a climate moderated by the gentle breezes and
deep waters of Lake Ontario provide them with a unique place for pursuing
Jonathan Oakes is Leonard Oakes' great grandson. Jonathan
was raised as a fourth generation fruit farmer. In 2008 after graduation from
Niagara College, Ontario, Canada, Jonathan made the transition into winemaker
and vitaculturalist. Through strong attention to detail, Jonathan is committed
to creating wines that translate the concept of a definitive sense of place. He
believes in terroir, or as Matt Kramer says, that sense of some whereness. He's young, fresh, innovative, and is also the author, shall we say, of Steampunk cider. Jonathan is making his presence known, as they like to say in sports vernacular.
Leonard Oakes Reserve Meritage 2010 attempts to be that kind
of signature wine. This is a big, concentrated wine with hints of dried
cherries, dark raspberries, cassis, graphite, smoke, caramel and molasses.
There are spices here, and whiffs of vanilla. It’s not sweet, though! This is a
big, deep dry red. With good acidity and lovely balanced tannins, this wine is
a superb wine. The wine stays on the palate for a good long time. A solid,
complex and truly beautiful big red wine.
So this is where my problem comes in. I like having a bottle of Leonard Oakes Reserve Meritage 2010. I can lay this down a good long time. But I wanted to drink it
now. That’s a good problem.
Great stuff, Jonathan, and all the folks at Leonard Oakes!