Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Bachelder Wines from Niagara -Fantastic Pinot Noir and Chardonnay! (CA)

I met Tom at the Eastern Wineries Exposition 2016 and I had met his lovely wife, Mary, the previous year. Bachelder is a big man with a large presence. His is as affable as he is legendary. And his prodigious wine output is incredible. A native Quebecois, Bachelder is making terrific terroir drive wines in three different countries! Bachelder's remarkable three terroirs project include making wine in Niagara Bench, Canada; Burgundy, France; and Willamette Valley, Oregon. 

Mary Bachelder

"We never meant to run away from our native Qu├ębec with our young family in tow, never meant to become wine gypsies: but, by doing so, we have been blessed to live and work in three of the most beautiful cool-climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir viticultural regions in the world: Burgundy; Oregon and Niagara. For the Bachelder project, starting with the 2009 vintage, we have happily returned to all three of these regions to establish tiny craft wineries and are finally making our own Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines under our own name. Every friend that we have made and kept in our travels has inspired this 'three terroirs' series: Three regions; Three wines. The hands, techniques and the palates remain the same, only the terroirs change," say Mary & Thomas Delaney-Bachelder.

"He acts as a micronegociant, buying grapes in each of the three regions and renting winery space to work in. The results are excellent: as Thomas points out, the winemaking and philosophy behind the wines in all three regions is similar (he aims at a European elegance), but beyond that, the personality of the regions is still evident," wrote wine scribe Jamie Goode of Wineanoral.com.

Tom Bachelder with wine writer David Falcheck.

Bachelder makes his Canadian wines in the Niagara Escarpment. The peninsula has a unique microclimate due to the ocean-like Great lakes that surround it. ’

While there, I was lucky enough to taste older vintages of the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay!

The Bachelder Niagara Chardonnay 2011 was gorgeous. Light, with ripe pear and bright green apple, it had a lovely floral quality with beautiful, layered flavors and aromas of tropical fruits, some nice minerality, and a gorgeous, bright finish I absolutely loved it!!!

The Bachelder Pinot Noir Niagara Lowery Vineyard 2012 was astonishing. Lots of cherry, from bright, Bing cherries, to darker fruits, there were layers of flavor in the wine. Plum and hints of raspberry as well as some nice spice, and some lovely white pepper and vanilla at the end. Incredibly juicy and delicious, like other winemakers dream of making! Fantastic!!!

The highest compliment I can give any winemaker - I wish I had made those wines! Congrats Mary and Tom! Fantastic!