John Howard Cellars of Distinction 2015 Megalomaniac Bespoke Pinot Noir
Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula
The Bespoke Label represents the best wines coming out of Head Winemaker Sébastien Jacquey’s cellar. The estate grown Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from 2015 are truly impressive, but this splurge-worthy Pinot is the best illustration of Jacquey’s dramatic impact on the Vineland, Ont. winery. Always a thoughtful caretaker of his vineyards, Jacquey isolated grapes from the slope and the top of the established Pinot Noir block for his top label. The grapes were hand-picked and hand-sorted. Individual berries were gently transferred to tank for a three day cold soak before a two week fermentation and 15 day post-fermentation maceration to build structure and weight. The free run juice was aged in French oak barrels (30 percent new) for 16 months before being racked to tank to integrate for two months before bottling. No press wine was used. The result is a firm, rich and age-worthy Pinot, which boasts an impressive core of fruit, winning complexity and long refreshing finish. Drink now to 2025. Highly Recommended.