What They Say

Thanks from the "Choices" foundation.
Choices Foundation (.pdf, 86.4 KB)

Organized by Wine Reviewer

Beppi Crosariol

Sept 13, 2013
Nadja's Riesling 2012 - (91 points)
Keep your eye on Ontario riesling from 2012, a superb vintage for the variety. Here is a case in point. Light-bodied and essentially dry, this white shows a rounded, vaguely sweet mid-palate before the acidity kicks in to freshen things up. The flavours hint at tinned peach and apricot with lemon juice and tart apple. It’s silky, long and delectable.

May 12, 2013
Sparkling Brut 2007 - (91 points)
Superb bubbly from an excellent Niagara producer, brimming with rich pineapple and baked-apple, subtle bread dough and a nuance of mineral. Flat Rock bravely uses no cork on any wine – to ensure freshness and guard against cork taint – and this comes sealed with a crown cap. Available only at the winery

July 2011
Seriously Twisted 2008
"Full-bodied, with a pronounced dollop of toasty oak, this white stays balanced, never tipping under the weight of that lumber.  Remarkably, it's just 11.7-per-cent alcohol."

Rick VanSickle

August 2013

Twisted 2011
Flat Rock has perfected this aromatic blend of Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Chardonnay. There is plenty going on here with lime, lemon, orchard fruits and a pinch of spice on the nose. It’s slightly off-dry and the grapefruit and ginger spice shines on the palate with pear and apple notes chiming in. Lovely sipping wine.

January 2011
Twisted 2009 (4 Stars)
"Citrus, melon, apple and lime zest on the nose of this funky, fun multi-white grape blend. It's fresh and flavourful in the mouth with grapefruit, apple, peach, citrus and all together a fruity pleasure to drink."

Pinot Noir 2009 (4 Stars)
"A very young wine but starting to show red berries, earth and spice on the nose. It opens up in the mouth with vibrant red fruits, spice, minerality and lovely oak tones. Very nice."

July 2011
Rusty Shed Chardonnay 2009 (92 Points)
Maybe the best Rusty Shed since 2004?  I'm not sure, but I love this Chardonnay with layers of citrus, green apple, vanilla spice and the elegance of oak on the nose.  The palate has all of that and a fresh acid core to keep it all in balance.  Ripeness of fruit and wonderful acidity.

Dan Kislenko

September 2010
Riesling 2009
"A fresh and fruit-packed Niagara Riesling, vibrant and lively in structure, offerings peach, kumquat, lime and grapefruit flavours."

June 2011
Pinot Noir Rose 2010
"A very dry and delicious rose out of Niagara, evoking strawberries, rose petals, tart cherries and cranberries with very mild tannin and crisp balancing acidity."

July 2011
Seriously Twisted 2008
"Flat Rock is a Niagara winery with a penchant for unusual blends, in this case more than three-quarters Chardonnay with equal bits of Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Noir that was bled off the skins quickly before it picked up any colour. It's dry but fruity, tasting of pears, peaches, pineapple and spice."

Gord Stimmell

Sept 2013
Good Kharma 2012
Flat Rock Good Kharma Chardonnay 2010 - VINTAGES 356873 - $16.95 - Over the past year there have been many exceptional Oaked Chardonnay's that have come in at the twenty dollar price point.  This wine has a killer value!  A nice round creamy buttery mouth feel with a lot of Pear and Pineapple flavours.  There is a long finish on a wine that overall is very subtle.

November 2010
Nadja's Vineyard Riesling 2009 (90 Points)
"This is a repeat, stellar performing vineyard for Flat Rock Cellars. Clean jasmine, lime lollipop and candied ginger aromas. The flavours show an edgy balance of sweet and sour apple, lime candy and lemon drop. Class in a glass."

June 2011
Riesling 2010 (90+ Points)
"A consistently delicous Niagara riesling year after year.  The 2010 wine offers mandarin, tangerine, jasmine and candied apple aromas.  The flavours show sweet-edged pear, pineapple and lemon drop.  Food suggestion: Pear or tangerine salad."

July 2011
Red Twisted 2009 (90+ Points)
"A mystery red blend that varies with each vintage and is a steady performer.  Big smoky aromas showing blackberry, cedar with whiffs of smokiness.  The flavours are equally smoky with blackberry, black cherry and ripe plums power."

Michael Pinkus

July 2013
Gravity 2010 (4.5 Stars)
I’m a big fan of Gravity – one, it keeps me rooted to the ground … but two, it makes for a really delicious Pinot Noir.  It’s a barrel selection that Flat Rock does and I’ve found in the past that the hot vintage Gravity's have been less exciting than the regular Pinot Noir – until now.  There’s a nice cranberry, rhubarb, spiced-cranberry and complex tannins note all kept together with some really good acidity.  It quite possible could be the best hot vintage Gravity yet made at Flat Rock. 

November 2010
Nadja's Vineyard Riesling 2009 (4 Stars)
"This single vineyard Riesling always seems to deliver the goods year-in and year-out. Currently this vintage shows lots of lemon and mineral on both the mouth and nose, acidity it high, but that is typical for the year, and the finish is pleasantly minerally and stony, should age nicely and develop well as she goes."

Natalie Maclean
August 2011
Chardonnay 2008 (90 Points)
This wine won Judges' Choice honours for Oaked Chardonnay at the Wine Access 2011 International Value Wine Awards. Try this impressive Chardonnay. My note: Toasted almonds and hazelnuts wrap around a core of green apple vibrancy. Luscious and lively: could you ask for a better combination? I think not. Pair with: grilled freshwater fish, roast chicken breast with button mushrooms. Drink: 2011-2015. 681247 11.9% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 90/100. Best Value White Wine

November 2010
Nadja's Vineyard Riesling 2009 (92 Points)
Favourite White Wine of November 13 Vintages Release "Absolutely marvellous! Peach, petrol (that's good) and long, deep lines of minerality and pleasurable satisfaction. Love this style of Riesling. Pair with: lemon-herbed chicken breast, seafood linguini. Drink: 2010-2016."

September 2010
Unplugged Chardonnay 2009
"Bravo! Way to make unoaked Chardonnay interesting and tasty! Pure fruit flavours of green apples and white peach. Love it! These guys are on a roll. Food matches: seafood salad, grilled herbed chicken, poached salmon with fresh herbs."

July 2010
Chardonnay 2007 (90 points) "is a Meursault style without the Meursault price. Classic, balanced with absolutely divine notes of green apples, almond and lime. I adore this wine: my kinda Chardonnay!"

June 2010
Best Value Rosé - Pinot Noir Rosé 2009 - "Fleshy field strawberries and raspberries with a surprisingly dry finish. So very refreshing and pretty. Pair with: crab salad, grilled salmon, calamari."

December 2009
Reserve Chardonnay 2007 (91 points) - "Very complex, rich and subtle. Creamy texture with gorgeous aromas of green apple, white peach, almond and toast. A long, satisfying finish. Great effort from a consistently great producer!"

Reserve Pinot Noir 2007 (90 points) - "Mocha rich nose with vibrant, fleshy black cherries. A silky, medium-bodied texture with a long, espresso-infused finish. This wine was aged in French oak barrels for 10 months."

Rod Phillips
July 2010
Chardonnay 2007
"This is a well-made chardonnay that shows fresh, layered flavours from start to finish, with a parallel and integrated seam of crisp acidity. It's refreshing and flavourful and the good balance among its components makes it versatile for food."

Vines Magazine
February 2011
Pinot Noir 2009 (4 Stars)
"Tell-tale Pinot Noir cherry and savoury notes mark the aroma and palate of this generous red wine.  Riper berry notes flesh out the palate, making this Flat Rock's best Estate Pinot to date."

November 2010
Sparkling Brut 2006 (4 Stars)
"Ed Madronich loves to have someone question why Flat Rock seals its sparkling wines with a crown cap. "I tell them two words," says the outspoken winery owner. "Dom Pérignon." The prestigious Champagne from Moët & Chandon spends years aging under what is effectively a beer cap. "They have much more at risk than I do," he continues. "They use it because it's the best closure to preserve the intensity of the wine." That the venerable Champagne house opts to seal its wine under natural cork at the final stage of production is merely convention. Madronich, a vocal advocate for alternative closures who has produced marketing posters that read "screw tradition," lines up on the quality side of the debate. He wants consumers to experience the crisp, flavourful personality of the newly released Reserve Sparkling the way his winemaking team intended it to be. Caps off to that."  Chris Waters

October 2010
Nadja's Vineyard Riesling 2009
"The 2009 vintage marks a return to form for the Nadja's Vineyard Riesling. The piercing acidity and focused, mineral rich flavour, call to mind the 2003 and 2004 vintages that launched the upstart label to be counted among Niagara's most exciting Riesling producers. This mouthwatering white promises to age like clockwork." Chris Waters

June 2011
Pinot Noir 2009 (4 Stars)
"The finest Flat Rock estate Pinot yet impresses with its rich, ripe flavours that make a winning match for salmon."

November 2010
Nadja's Vineyard Riesling 2009 (91 Points)
"A gold medal yet again for Nadja at the Canadian Wine Awards. Sourced from a single vineyard on the upper lip of the Niagara Escarpment where Twenty Mile Bench meets Vinemount Ridge, this shows lovely lifted aromas of lime, petrol, pine and green apple or melon, with a fetching hint of anise. It's mid-weight, fleshy yet beautifully balanced by racy acidity and minerality. Razor like focus here, with excellent length. Tasted November 2010." David Lawrason

September 2010
Unplugged Chardonnay 2009
"Here's a clean, fresh, juicy perfectly correct example of unoaked chardonnay, with all of the expected green apple and citrus notes. Flavour depth and intensity are more than fair for the price. Nice job. Tasted August 2010. Value Rating: ***" John Szabo

"This is a bright, fresh, generous and smooth unoaked chardonnay very much in Flat Rock's drinkable and varietally correct style. Expect well harmonized yellow apple, grapefruit and lemon flavours. A mid-weight, ripe and fruity style with excellent length. A great sipping white or a match with breaded veal or pork dished. Tasted September 2010." David Lawrason

Riddled Sparkling 2007
"An intense, ripe, and full-on style bubbly from Flatrock, with plenty of creamy-yeasty notes and bruised apple-lemon custard flavours. The palate is fullish and round and the finish is long. This is more a power over elegance style of wine, a little clumsy overall, but suitable for those who like it big. Tasted August 2010. Value Rating: **" John Szabo

Rating: Very Good + - "Riddled is the first sparkler I have seen to be closed with a ""crown cap"" or old style pop bottle/beer cap. This is how sparkling wine is actually stored in bottle while ageing in its lees in the wineries. Flat Rock owner Ed Madronich was able to change VQA regulation to allow this in Ontario. This is a generous, open-hearted bubbly with quite ripe pear fruit, mild biscuit and honey complexity. It has very good acidity, slightly frothy effervescence and very good length. Keep it well chilled. Tasted twice in September 2010." David Lawrason

July 2010
Pinot Noir 2009 (88 Points)
"This is a good pinot from Ontario for a good price. The nose shows some sweet spice from barrels, mocha and vanilla but plum and raspberry fruit can be detected also. It is lightweight fruity and juicy with maybe just a little too much oak showing at this time. In another six months it will be better integrated. Good to very good length. Best 2011 to 2014. Tasted July 2010." Steve Thurlow

June 2011
Pinot Noir Rose 2010 (88 Points)
"Clean, fresh, fragrant and inviting on the nose, with plenty of ripe red-berry-cherry-strawberry fruit.  The palate is flavourful and fleshy, with a relatively generous 13% alcohol lingering candy floss flavours on the finish.  A fine and flavourful rose in all.  Tasted May 2011." John Szabo

August 2010
Gravity Pinot Noir 2008 
Rating: Outstanding - "This has intense lovely smoky, leathery nose with good wood and ripe sour cherry- cranberry fruit. Look for mid-weight, a smooth, almost creamy palate and refined tannin. It's a bit sour and cranberry like with excellent length and focus." David Lawrason

The Rusty Shed Chardonnay 2008
Rating: Outstanding - "Shows a lovely, bright nose of well woven peat smoke, pear, anise and buttercream cookie. It's mid-weight, smooth and firm then a bit tart on the finish. Lovely wood treatment, with a slightly bitter, smoky pear finish. Excellent to outstanding length." David Lawrason

Nadja's Vineyard Riesling 2009 
Rating: Outstanding - "This comes from a specific block of riesling in the vineyard's upper slope, almost in the Vinemount Ridge appellation. It's a lovely, racy, elegant (11.6% alcohol), nuanced wine with pineapple, spearmint, lime leaf and honey notes. Very shiny, clean feel with terrific acidity and minerality. Excellent length; very juicy, very focused." David Lawrason 


Read the latest vineyard news from our winemaker, Dave Shephard.... (Read More)


Follow the  link to read Ed's one-on-one interview and our newest Vintages Releases on April 13th.... (Read More)


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