Pearl Morissette, "Oxyde" Riesling 2021, Redfoot Vineyard, Lincoln Lakeshore, Lake Ontario, Ontario, Canada
This natural Riesling from red clay fully expresses the strangeness of its soil. Quince, beeswax, hay, mint, blossom on the nose, with an elegant, warm palate. This wine is a giant in a velvet glove. It’ll bluff you like the Trojan horse.
APPELLATION (AVA): Lincoln Lakeshore VQA
SUBREGION: Lincoln Lakeshore, Lake Ontario
VINEYARD: Redfoot Vineyard
GRAPES: 100% Riesling
SOIL: Red clay
PRACTICE: Sustainable, organic
VINIFICATION: 100% whole bunches at press. Fermented by indigenous yeast, slowly and steadily, in a combination concrete (56%) and old foudres (44%), without any temperature control or sulphur additions. Aged in its fermentation vessels on primary lees without any racking for a total of 5 months, when it was moved to stainless steel tanks for 2 months of cold-settling. Bottled unfiltered and unfined. pH: 3.16; TA: 6.3 g/L; FS02: 5ppm at bottling; TSO2: 20ppm; Residual Sugar: <2g/L
PRODUCTION: 366 cases produced
WINE TO SOFA, TABLE, OR OCCASION: Table
COLOR: Old, unpolished gold
BODY: Medium bodied
PRIMARY AROMAS: Candied quince, white currants, beeswax, dried hay, white mint powder, and apple blossom, acacia flower
FLAVOR: Frank, warm, and slightly oily. Warm lemon, cooked melon, saline like a cooked oyster, and lots of warm quince. Very elegant with a discreet but very present acidity
FORMAT: 750 ml
SERVICE AND FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTION: This wine should absolutely be transferred to a decanter and allowed to rest at a temperature of 50 to 55 F for one to two hours before serving. Honor it at the table with a seashell casserole, duck leg confit with quince puree, or a white lake or sea fish, such as carp or flounder with preserved lemon and green shiso leaves sauce.
ABOUT THE PRODUCER: Pearl Morissette
“Francois Morissette is making the most exciting wines in Canada that we know of in his small corner of Ontario. They are uncompromising wines of terroir that easily transcend the boundaries of the Niagara Peninsula; in his words, ‘I don’t make wine for Ontario, I make wine for the world.’”
“Francois’ career in wine began in his early 20s when he spent a year working for Domaine Alain Gras in Saint-Romain, learning about the traditional winemaking methods of the region. Once he moved back to Quebec, he worked towards becoming a sommelier and spent the rest of the 1990s building some of the most ambitious wine lists in both Quebec and Ontario. In 2000, the call of the vines was to loud to ignore and he moved back to France to pursue winemaking full-time, working for some of the most famous producers in the Côte d’Or including Frédéric Mugnier in Chambolle-Musigny, Christian Gouges of Domaine Henri Gouges in Nuits-Saint-Georges and Domaine Roulot in Meursault. After 7 years in Burgundy, he returned to Canada with an eye to make his own wine using the knowledge he gained abroad, and it wasn’t long before he found a partner (Mel Pearl, a developer in Toronto) with whom to make it all happen.
“The estate now owns two vineyards: the 19th Street Vineyard in the Twenty Mile Beach VQA and the home vineyard which is next to the winery, that is part of the Creek Shore VQA: both farmed organically, though not certified. Francois also runs a small negoce project with other likeminded growers in the area. When harvesting (which is done in multiple passes by hand), Francois pays keen attention to the ripeness levels of the grapes as he views this as the key to achieving perfect balance in the finished wine.
“In the cellar, vinifications are done in a wide variety of different vessels ranging from cement tank, to barrique, to cement egg. Fining and filtration is frowned upon, and sulfur is only used in minuscule doses, if at all. Francois makes a range of different wines from his estate.” (selectionmassale.com)