Legends Estates Winery

It was Rick Van Sickle who first wrote about Legends that intrigued us enough that we added them to our list of places to visit. It wasn’t just the variety of wines on offer, but the list of back-vintages that we wanted to see.

In a beautiful setting right on the Lakeshore, I can see why Legends has so many wedding events during the summer season. As it was Cuvée weekend, Legends had a stellar selection of wines open for sampling, although the winery was quite quiet by the time we arrived.

2007 Semillon:
I’ll admit to not having tried a lot of Semillon (with the exception of a few Sauternes), so I didn’t know what to expect but I had been told I needed to try this. With loads of tropical fruit and citrus, the palate popped with juicy kiwi, apricot, grapefruit and lemon-lime. There was a slight oiliness in the mouth, and some hints of oxidation as if it were aged much longer than this. Definitely different, and definitely interesting.

2010 Diva:
A 50:50 blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc, this one has a nose similar to the ’07 Semillon, with pineapple, grapefruit and lemon. On the palate there is again sweet fruits and the citrus but also vanilla/spice influences from some time in oak. I detect petrol nuances similar to an aged Riesling, but I can’t quite place the exact aroma. I’m liking that Legends has some really different wine at this point.

2004 Gewurztraminer: I found this one a little flat in comparison to recent Niagara vintages, but given the ~8 yrs of aging, it can be expected. There was lots of lychee, honey, and floral notes still but the wine was a little sweet for the acidity. $8.45

2007 Gewurztraminer: This was more what I expected in a Gewurztraminer – slightly spicy, less apparent sweetness than the ’04, and a fine acidity from the grapefruit that was missing in the ’04. $12.95

2009 Diva Malbec Rose: With hints of sweet strawberry on the nose, the palate show clean, dry red fruit with the additional crisp notes of rhubarb and grapefruit. A very refreshing rose. I believe it was $14.70.

2007 Merlot Reserve

2007 Reserve Merlot: A rich, smoky nose of dark fruit and dark chocolate. One the palate, black cherries, Damson plums, chocolate, and sweet spice. A long and spicy fruit finish reminds you that the tannins are in check on this one. Very nice. $17.95

2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve

2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve: Leather, tobacco, and sweet spice fill in the nose of cassis. On the palate, gobs of cassis and raspberry remind you what a vintage this year was. Earthy tones and tannins hold it together and I think this wine would cellar well for another 5 years at least as it is one big wine! $17.95

2006 Shiraz Reserve

2006 Shiraz Reserve: I don’t normally associate 2006 with great Shiraz from this region but I changed my mind after this one. The nose is quite smokey, bitter chocolate, and strong dark fruit…reminds me of Christmas cake. On the palate, blackberries, licorice, black pepper and a spicy fruit finish. $19.95

2007 Shiraz Reserve: I’m expecting to like this one even more than the 2006, but even though it is similar, I find I enjoyed the more dominant spice and pepper on the 2006. This is still a beauty though with big red and black fruit on the palette, cigar box, and a hint of vegetal notes. (I decide that I like them both equally in the end, and purchase both the ’06 and ’07 Shiraz.) $19.95

2007 Petite Verdot Reserve

2007 Petite Verdot: Not many have tried 100% Petite Verdot in Ontario (Stratus and Karlo Estates are the only others I know of). Again I get something slightly green on the nose…or is it just palate fatigue at the end of a long day? Not that there isn’t a lot of fruit here as well. On the palate, there is very smooth black fruit, some peppery heat, and a lingering smooth finish. The backbone of tannins make me think this will smooth out even more over time, or pull it out and enjoy with some rare BBQ meat this summer. I decide I would like to hold some of this for a couple more years and see what develops. $19.95

They have a few others I want to try but we are running out of time. I throw an ’07 Malbec into the order (to be tasted at a later date) and wrap up out tour. I know Legends is another winery that I would like to come back to with a crowd – given the variety of wines and vintages I am sure everyone would find something they love here.

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