Day 18: #To Richard – Karlo Estates

Karlo Riesling

2010 Karlo Estates Lake on the Mountain Riesling

I couldn’t blog for 30 days without mentioning Karlo Estates, and specifically Richard Karlo. Richard was the first winemaker from PEC that I met, and definitely the first winemaker I ever sat at the dinner table with.

Richard’s passing last fall seemed so unreal, and unfair. At the time, Calvin Hanselmann‘s wife Dylan suggested that we do a virtual toast on Social Media, with the hashtag #ToRichard. It seemed such a fitting salute to someone who was forever pushing the boundaries in winemaking in the County.Karlo Estates Glass

Richard had a certain knack for connecting with people, and those that met him almost instantly thought of him as a friend. I’m glad that the hashtag has lived on. I don’t see it often, but when I do, a sense of warmth hits me and I hear Richard’s bellowing laugh and see his huge smile.

This post is definitely “#ToRichard”.


Karlo Estates 2010 Lake of the Mountain Riesling: Nose of pear, ripe apple, some white flower honey, hints of beeswax and petrol. After several years, it is showing some oxidative notes akin to bruised apple, and I can detect the slightest hints of the oak treatment at this time. The palate is sweet apple and peach/nectarine at first, turning to green apple and citrus that makes your mouth water. There’s a brilliant mineral streak that kicks in mid-palate right through the finish. Was $22 at the time of purchase.

After writing the review, I was looking through my notes, I found that I had also written about this wine for Spotlight Toronto back in 2012 here. It’s pretty similar except for the slight oxidation that I can detect now. I included a lot of details about how the wine was made, so I have pasted that review here:

With a start as an award-winning amateur winemaker, the change to professional was a natural progression for Richard Karlo. The Karlo Estates iconic red barn, stacked stone wall and footbridge are wonderful additions to a welcoming wine tasting that serves up County hospitality like no other. With partner Sherry Martin who looks after the social media and hospitality side of things, Karlo Estates has become a “must visit” stop on the tour. They have been slowly expanding over the last couple of years to keep up with demand, adding a large screen porch on the back and a mezzanine tasting area for tour buses.

2010 Lake on the Mountain Riesling: Richard likes to try different processes (he’s well known for his CHOA Chardonnay which adds a variety of non-traditional woods to the barrel) and he decided to experiment with this Riesling. With a wild ferment in 6 year old barrels and aged in even older oak, this Riesling shows more colour than most. The nose is a little more difficult to decipher, with melon, red apple, lemon, and as it warmed, mineral and light petroleum notes emerged. On the palate, the wine retains a crisp lemon-lime, nectarine, and green apple acidity despite the smooth and mellowing characteristics of the oak. The county minerality provides an ever-present backbone and the finish is long and mouth-watering.

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