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  • Writer's pictureToronto Vintners Club


For our May event, Toronto Vintners Club curated an international selection of Chardonnay from cool climate regions. The evening was dedicated to exploring the elegance and Versatility of one of the world's most planted grape varietals. As usual, the evening was a perfect blend of learning and tasting and socializing, as members and guests indulged in the expressiveness of Chardonnay.

Our reception wine was 2021 Hidden Bench Chardonnay. Pouring a pale gold colour, this wine greeted attendees with enticing aromas of ripe, fresh Bosc pear, cinnamon stick, grapefruit zest, and cold cream. On the palate, it was dry with zesty acidity, presenting flavours of Granny Smith apple, Asian pear, subtle baking spice, and the classic Beamsville Bench steely minerality. This vibrant wine set the stage for the evening’s exploration of Chardonnays from around the world.

We were honoured to have Louise Wilson Cormier, Master of Wine, as our guest speaker. Louise shared her extensive knowledge about the diverse expressions of Chardonnay, from different regions and climates. Her insights provided a deeper appreciation for the unique characteristics that climate and terroir impart on this versatile grape. The tasting featured ten distinct Chardonnays from seven countries: France, Italy, South Africa, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and, of course, Canada. Each wine showcased its region’s unique approach to Chardonnay, offering a fascinating comparative experience.

To enhance the tasting experience, a delicious array of appetizers was served. These were thoughtfully selected to complement the wines, ensuring that each sip and bite harmonized beautifully, delighting our members' and guests’ palates.

It was pure pleasure to compare ten unique Chardonnay wines, but giving them scores was a challenge! There were lively discussions and debates about each wine’s characteristics, aroma, palate structure and finish.

Finally, as the night drew to a close, we revealed the wines and how our guest and the group scored them. The top ranked wine was the 2018 Louis Moreau Chablis Grand Cru Clos des Hospices dans les Clos from Burgundy, France. This exceptional wine captivated the group with its complex profile. It displayed a bright, pale gold colour and an elegant nose of citrus fruits, white flowers, and a hint of flint. On the palate, it was impeccably balanced with vibrant acidity, flavours of lemon zest, green apple, and subtle notes of toasted almond and wet stone. Its minerality and long, refined finish left a lasting impression on all who had the pleasure of tasting it.

The May Cool Climate Chardonnay event was a memorable evening of discovery and enjoyment. We look forward to continuing this journey with our members and guests, exploring the fascinating world of wine together. Cheers to more great wines and unforgettable experiences!

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