Riesling Cuvée Paradoxe
Michael Godel , WineAlign
As if Norm Hardie’s wines were not already paradoxes enough he just had to go there. In a time where there’s a remarkably great deal of homogeneity some wines are so over the top they could only be from that place. That place is the Niagara Peninsula, a three-hour drive west from Hardie's Prince Edward County camp. Cuvée Paradoxe delivers a low-alcohol Germanesque experience but with more Peninsula leanness and yet the juicy-driven nature is shot injected into both arms by a limestone syringe. It’s really a paradox because despite the 20 g/L of residual sugar the 9.5 per cent alcohol doesn’t quite seem to be plausible with the amount of dry extract, incurvate fruit and grape tannin involved. Apparently it’s not a thing of impossibility, which comes as little surprise in cases involving Hardie's risks. Is there perhaps an ode here to Champagne by the satirist Didier Gimmonet, if only because this is richer and sweeter, more immediate and fruit-focused than the typical Hardie white? I don't know, go ask Norm. Drink 2018-2022. Tasted April 2018.
Chris Waters , Waters and Wine
This is an expressive and delicious off-dry Riesling that was aged on fine lees for eight months to impart more texture and complexity. The Paradoxe implied in the name is that the Riesling vineyard was ready to pick much earlier than anticipated, which set the ball rolling for Hardie and his inspired team to adopt a different approach. Instead of the traditional racy and minerally style championed by Hardie, this boasts purity of fresh fruit and a long stony finish. It’s drinking beautifully now, but promises to develop more complexity and character with time in bottle. Drink now to 2023. Highly Recommended.