|2010 Chardonngay VQA : LCBO #260398|
We've never been disappointed when dropping in on Daniel Lenko at his bungalow on the Beamsville Bench - on King Street just west of Beamsville (View it!). We decided to drop in after 'Graze the Bench' on Saturday June 1st.
Shelly Murre guided us through tastings from a list of seventeen wines: 11 Whites, 2 Rosés, 4 Reds and a 2002 Viognier Icewine. We limited our tasting to three Chardonnays and finished up by buying 'The Essential Taster Pack', the same 'Pack' purchased during our last visit on June 9th 2010 and containing the wines listed below.
The original Lenko winery was located at the same site in 1947 where later, in 1959, some of the first Chardonnay vines of the area were planted by grandfather Lenko. These were followed by plantings of Merlot (1974), Riesling (1980) and Viognier (1993). In 1999 Daniel incorporated as "daniel lenko estate winery" - only the Grape Types are capitalized at this winery. Although labelled as 'VQA Niagara Peninsula' grapes came from vines planted on the Beamsville Bench Estate.
When we walked in Daniel was at the kitchen table giving his personal touch to tastings for another couple.
The six wines of 'The Essential Taster Pack' include most of the varietals we had purchased during our original visit in 2010 as well as a few others. If you're in the area the wines and personal attention are well worth the visit!
Sunday July 14, 2013
This is our second visit this year to Daniel Lenko's winery on King Street in Beamsville. We arrived at opening time, noon. Daniel was looking after the vines somewhere on the property and Daniel's sister, a teacher by profession, was just returning to the house and offered to provide us with samplings of his wines. Our purpose this time was to purchase several whites tasted following the first visit as well as additional wines designated with a '++'
THE LINEUP: by reds, whites and other
- Daniel Lenko Estate 2008 Old Vines Merlot VQA Niagara Peninsula, 91-1 -- O, Beamsville, Ontario, #Winery $30.15
- Daniel Lenko Estate 2006 Old Vines Merlot VQA Niagara Peninsula, 84 -- O, Beamsville, Ontario, #Winery $25.15
- Daniel Lenko Estate 2008 Reserve Riesling VQA Niagara Peninsula, 91-2 -- O, Beamsville, Ontario, #Winery $15.05
- Daniel Lenko Estate 2008 Unoaked Chardonnay VQA Niagara Peninsula, 91-2 -- O, Beamsville, Ontario, #Winery $20.05
- ++ Daniel Lenko Estate 2010 Unoaked Chardonnay VQA Niagara Peninsula, 90-2 -- O, Beamsville, Ontario, #Winery $20.15
- Daniel Lenko Estate 2010 Old Vines Chardonnay (French oak) VQA Niagara Peninsula, 90-1 -- O, Beamsville, Ontario, #Winery $30.05
- ++ Daniel Lenko Estate Winery Gewurztraminer 2008 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 86 -- O, Beamsville, Canada, #Winery $23.15
- ++ Daniel Lenko Estate Winery Viognier 2007 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 82 -- O, Beamsville, Canada, #Winery $40.15
- Daniel Lenko Estate 2009 White Merlot VQA Niagara Peninsula, 89-1 -- O, Beamsville, Ontario, #Winery $20.05
(V - Vintages, G - General, O - Other, r-v - Rating-Value, a - aerated, NR - Not Rated)
DANIEL LENKO RESERVE RIESLING 2008 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Beamsville, Canada, 11.5% XD, #Winery $15.95 (Tasted June 20, 2013) CS
Purchased from the Winery: My notes: The 2004 was tasted on April 27, 2006 before ratings - same price. The 2007 vintage was tasted on July 22, 2010 with a rating of 90. Served at 10oC this 2008 has a crisp citrus aroma leaning to mandarin orange and the colour is a pale yellow. A swirl leaves a fragmenting rim draining thru fast legs. The first sip, now at 15oC, prepares the palate with a chalky dryness and lively acid. Flavours of wild apple, lime and tangerine zest complement a pleasing level of acid that carries the main focus from start to finish. Perfect with Sautéed Shrimps and Scallops with Honey-Green Onion Glaze, a recipe from the Ace Bakery, and like courses. Cellaring a few more years is possible. 91
DANIEL LENKO UNOAKED CHARDONNAY 2008 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Beamsville, Canada, 13.0% XD, #Winery $19.95 (Tasted June 24, 2013) CS
Purchased from the Winery: My notes: The 2004 was tasted on April 27, 2006 and the 2005 on July 23, 2010. Both rated highly with the '05 at 93.The colour of the '08 is polished mid yellow and a thin film leaves a coating of tears falling from a fragmenting rim. I recommend waiting for the chill to raise to 15oC for a full character to show - full-bodied, a modest 'sur lie' cream, leaving a drop of oiliness on the lips at 17oC. At 12oC flavours include lemon with a dry tang staying over a long finish. Then a pleasing fullness develops and unripe peach adds to the citrus. A succulent sipper showing more with patience. A fish white or for grilled breast of chicken with puréed cauliflower. May cellar several more years. 91
DANIEL LENKO ESTATE OLD VINES CHARDONNAY (French oak) 2010 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Beamsville, Ontario, 13.0% D, #Winery $30.05 (Tasted June 21, 2013) CS
Purchased from the Winery: My notes: The 2004 was rated 86 with the note as having a 'smoky butterscotch aroma'. The 1999 vintage French and American Oak Chardonnays purchased from the winery in May 2001 were cellared and tasted in 2006. The nose of the 2010 at 15oC has a delicate smoky butterscotch scent and a swirl painted a firm film that slowly shed tears from a disappearing rim. A light yellow with a hint of bronze and a first sip, full-bodied, dry, butterscotch smooth with a growing and lasting herbal aspect. Perhaps not far from the end of its cellaring time now showcasing the French oak making this an interesting sipper or companion to fresh oysters and grilled seafood. 90
DANIEL LENKO ESTATE OLD VINES MERLOT 2006 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Beamsville, Ontario, 13.0% D, #075622 $25.15 (Tasted June 26, 2013) CS
Purchased from the Winery: My notes: The 2006 was previously tasted in July 2010 with an 88 rating with the comment 'possibly on the decline'. Now an opaque ruby swirling a moderate film shedding fast legs from a solid rim. A pleasing peppery black cherry and blueberry nose, medium-bodied, a metallic acid, light tannin, black cherry and tobacco flavour, fading slowly and ending with a dry woody finish. The dryness parches the mouth asking for a follow up sip. Have with rare steaks with rich sauces - or use in recipes calling for red wine. Consume any cellared soon. 84
DANIEL LENKO ESTATE OLD VINES MERLOT 2008 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Beamsville, Ontario, 13.0% D, #075622 $30.15 (Tasted June 29, 2013) CS
Purchased from the Winery: My notes: A complex aroma with minor lacquer which quickly dissipates, a subtle raspberry, a touch of smoke and pleasingly penetrating acid. The film sticks then recedes on long legs from a fragmenting lacy rim. A rich ruby shows some mellowing at the meniscus and the first sip takes a soft approach with a silky combination of muted raspberry mellowed by forest floor. A smooth sipper with or without a buffet of bacon bits, tri corner treats or pepperoni pizza not too spicy. The finish builds on the fruit then softens slowly leaving the palate full of fruit. Cellaring a few more years should work. 91
DANIEL LENKO ESTATE WHITE MERLOT 2009 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Beamsville, Ontario, 13.0% D, #Winery $20.05 (Tasted June 22, 2013) CS
Purchased from the Winery: My notes: This is crystal clear in the glass with a salmon bronze glow - an amazing colour. The nose has a just-perceptible floral scent and the first sip has the light tang of orange to a slight white cherry/apple flavour. A swirl leaves a fragmenting film that quickly separates into irregular islands. Light-bodied and extra dry with apple cherry flavours continue to be pleasurable and a fullness through the finish adds to the appeal (quaff for full effect - scrumptious). Further changes are likely to continue with longer cellaring. Drinking well now as an extra dry conservative rosé. 89
++DANIEL LENKO ESTATE WINERY VIOGNIER 2007 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Beamsville, Canada, 14.0% D, Winery $40.15 (Tasted August 4, 2013) CS
Purchased from the Winery on July 14, 2013: My notes: A mid yellow with a delicate ripe pear fragrance. A moderate film leaves a rim that fragments quickly shedding many fast legs. The first sip is full, nicely rounded, dry, slightly tart with a bland edge - not appealing as a sipper - possibly cork'd? The finish is dry on the palate with suspicion of sweet and a latent warmth building with each sip then quickly fading to a soft straw ending. Better paired with grilled sole or tilapia with puréed cauliflower or sweet potato mash or fries. Not for cellaring. 82
++DANIEL LENKO ESTATE WINERY GEWURZTRAMINER 2008 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Beamsville, Canada, 13.0% D, Winery $23.15 (Tasted August 5, 2013) CS
Purchased from the Winery on July 14, 2013: My notes: A faded yellow in the glass with a faint pear and floral aroma to sniff. A thin rim sheds a dozen slow tears. The first sip adds some spice - perhaps cloves, some fruit - apple & pear, at the front and a mineral dryness going into the finish with an underlying, subtle sweetness start to end. A local interpretation or terroir may appeal as a sipper for its difference. Pair with sushi or Asian where a light soy could complement the spice and sweet. A drink now. 86
++DANIEL LENKO ESTATE WINERY UNOAKED CHARDONNAY 2010 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Beamsville, Canada, 13.0% XD, Winery $20.15 (Tasted July 22, 2013) CS
Purchased from the Winery on July 14, 2013: My notes: I hadn't noticed the micro bubbles drifting to the top on pouring previous vintages (2008, 2005, 2004)... a natural phenomenon I guess. A mid yellow colour with a thin film that sticks then slowly recedes draining a lacy rim. The flavours match the nose, predominantly lemon with a custard cream staying awhile and brightening the palate preparing it for a long mildly tart finish. Ongoing sips continue the lemon custard theme and show some acid for balance - quaffing intensifies the pleasurable texture and fruit. Have with roast chicken breast, cod on mushroom risotto, grilled pork chops or a ham steak. Cellaring could show more depth making a few more years worthwhile. 90