Cuvee "Des Amis"
Richard Hemming MW , Jancis Robinson
Aged 10 months in oak, then another 12 in a horizontal tank to maximise lees contact. Super-reductive nose – pungent sulphurous aromas. Bacon, toast, fresh apple and a whole box of matches. This is stylised and modernist and almost absurdist even, such is the intensity of flavours – but for people who like that style, this is one of the ultimates.
Jamie Goode , Wine Anorak
Beautifully detailed nose with spicy, mineral citrus fruit. The palate has amazing precision with lovely purity. Lemons, grapefruits and a brilliantly vital mineral character. Tight but with a bit of generosity. Very fine and detailed with amazing acid structure. A lovely wine. 96/100
John Szabo MS , WineAlign
An outstanding vintage for the Cuvée des Amis, a pure chardonnay spun off from the 'regular' County chardonnay, given extra time in old 500l barrels and then in tank on the less. This is showing particularly austere and tight at the moment, a marvellously lean, chiselled and firm wine, crackling with energy and life. Wood is beautifully integrated, and while the 2014 county chardonnay (from 750ml) is showing a touch of honeyed development, this is amazingly pure and stony, fully based on tart citrus and grapefruit, and wet stones. Exceptional length and depth. Top notch. Bottled in magnum only. Tasted December 2016.
Michael Godel , WineAlign
As exceptional as chardonnay may have seemed from out of the 2013 Ontario vintage you haven't lived or loved until you get a taste of (only in magnum format) Norm Hardie's 2014 Cuvées des Amis. This chardonnay attacks and ascends, recalibrating the inner workings of the brain and how it develops conceptualization. It is a state of the art and all-knowing elixir to remind that '13 was a vintage with profitable yields and a generously stretched canvas on which to practice on, for when things begin to get real. The CdeA spent 18 months in barrel, the first 12 (in 35 per cent new), the next six in neutral and the last six in stainless steel on the fine lees. The spin class in the mouth manages agility, dextrous, furtive movement and completes many pirouettes. The dance is pure joy but the intensity is equally to disturbingly intrusive, suggesting more settling time is necessary. The flavour pearls are delicate and come straight from the oyster so they carry salinity, power and brine. Pure lemon essence is received by intravenous injection. Sumptuous is translated from Hardie-speak as a four-letter, Prince Edward County word. It doesn't get more real than right here, with the best fruit, the tripping of the light fantastic, previously unheard and unseen unconscionable concentration. Drink 2019-2025. Tasted twice, June and July 2017.
Alder Yarrow , The Brilliance of Canadian Chardonnay
Pale greenish gold in the glass, this wine smells of wet stones and the pith of exotic citrus. In the mouth, gorgeous sweetlime and wet stone flavors have a fantastic mineral depth. Amazing depth and stony resonance. Fantastic acid. A single barrel of wine bottled only in magnum. 12.0% alcohol.
Jamie Goode , The Wine Anorak
This spends 19 months in 500 litre oak. Concentrated and precise, showing a little oak, but it’s the fruit that dominates: fresh pear and peach, with some toastiness in the background. Very pure with lovely texture.