The Wines of Flat Rock Cellars
Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling. Given the regional characteristics, the sub region and Flat Rock’s physical location or terroir, these are the three varietals that we focus on to consistently deliver high quality wines.
We’ve created two tiers of wine within each variety: Reserve and Estate. The Reserve wines are identified by unique names relating to our wines like The Rusty Shed and Gravity. Our estate wines highlight the individual variety. The Reserve wines – created from sub blocks in the vineyard that express exceptional purity of fruit – are intricately layered and show great depth, while the Estate wines provide a fruit forward, easy-drinking wine experience.
The Niagara Peninsula, The Twenty Mile Bench and Flat Rock Cellars (naturally), are capable of producing world class, premium Pinot Noir. Given our terroir and growing conditions, it’s possible for the grapes to ripen to bursting with flavour every year. Pinot Noir is a fickle grape all right, but we won’t compromise anything to bring this grape to its full potential. Great care is taken when hand harvesting and sorting, processing and cellaring, and bottling.
Gravity, our Reserve Pinot Noir, is assembled from the best batches, clones and individual barrels of Pinot in our cellars. Leaning towards dark cherries and plums, spice and earth, with a rounded, firm tannin structure this wine offers a rich mouth-feel, elegance and power. Gravity also evolves wonderfully with proper cellaring.
Our Estate Pinot Noir is a fruit forward wine with a backdrop of spice and soft but evident tannins. Fully barrel aged and made in exactly the same way as Gravity, the blend is assembled from select batches of Pinot Noir offering fruit forward reds and a rounder, softer palate.
We love the way this versatile variety works in the Flat Rock Cellars vineyards. Our Chardonnay grapes are from two Burgundy clones planted using two different rootstocks. Cool climate Chardonnays like these produce elegant whites with weight and power, without “overblown” butter and oak notes.
The Rusty Shed Reserve Chardonnay is fully barrel fermented, lees aged and stirred, and will undergo anywhere from 50% to 100% malolactic fermentation, depending on the composition of the grapes at harvest. The complex mix of melon and fleshy fruit, spicy oak notes, creamy mouth-feel and balanced acidity make this an exciting Chardonnay. Made to improve with age, The Rusty Shed is the embodiment of our passion for premium, layered, elegant Chardonnays.
Even when barely noticeable, oak ageing creates extra layers of complexity. Our Estate Chardonnay is a blend of tank and barrel fermented wines that may also be aged on the lees in tank and/or in barrel. Some of this wine will be put through malolactic fermentation to lower the natural acidity and provide a creamier mouth feel. The resulting blend is a fruit forward Chardonnay highlighting tropical fruits and natural acidity – a complex and layered Estate Chardonnay of exceptional value.
The most important aspect of Riesling is getting it right in the vineyard. It needs to be carefully nurtured and harvested at just the right time. Too early, and the wine will have too high acidity without the required flavour development. Too late and the natural acidity will degrade and the wine will be flabby and lifeless.
Nadja’s Vineyard Reserve Riesling is a small block located to the left as you drive in to the winery. Cooler than the rest of the vineyard by an average of 2.5oC it’s also subjected to the prevailing escarpment winds. A good thing, because this allows the Riesling to keep relatively free of disease and hang longer on the vine. Flavours develop at a slower pace and the grapes retain a higher level of acidity. Nadja’s Vineyard is for people who are serious about Riesling.
Our Estate Riesling showcases classic Riesling fruit and acidity in a fruit forward, easy drinking style. It’s mouth filling while still refreshing and offers terrific flexibility for food and wine pairing.