LCBO # 208702 $39/bottle $468/case
Jamie Drummond (Director/Sommelier of Good Food Media). To choose between the Norm Hardie County and Niagara Pinots has always been a difficult decision for me. On one hand I enjoy the leaner style of the County, but occasionally I am seduced by the richness and fruit component of the Niagara. In the case of this particular vintage I have to say that I feel Norm’s Niagara bottling to be one of best wines he has put his name to. The fruit profile is undoubtedly darker, with the clay/limestone soils adding their unmistakable influence upon the juice. On the nose the dense, darker fruit aromatics are lifted by a little something that simply has to be the delicious Niagara dirt peeking through. Quite how Norm pulls off this kind of fruit/acid balance in a vintage such as 2008 is truly a mystery to me, but then I don’t have anything near the experience with Pinot that Mr. Hardie does. The palate is both satisfying and thorough, with magnificent structure and finish. One of my favorite wines of the year thus far.
Chris Waters (Chief Editor of Vines Magazine). This remarkably well-made Niagara Pinot reveals concentration, richness and serious structure — certainly there’s more body and fruit evident here compared to Hardie’s County Pinot Noir as well as Hardie’s 2006 Niagara Pinot, a product of a similar growing season. Look for appealing red fruit notes and interesting savoury notes that add welcome complexity to nose and palate. Highly recommended.
Natalie McLain (Sommelier and Wine Writer) Score: 91/100. Grapes are grown for this lovely Pinot in the St. David's Bench and Park Vineyards. This is a more concentrated, deeper and robust Pinot than the County, but I love this one too! Black cherries and a Bach-like dark chord running through the middle. Velvet texture and a long finish. Food matches: game birds, richer red meats.