Results of the 2017 WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada (The Nationals)

Chardonnay

Intro by Treve Ring

How to describe Canadian Chardonnay? Easy. It’s ABC.

Nope – not the outdated and boring “Anything But Chardonnay” dialogue (zzz). This rooted in cool country is All ‘Bout Chardonnay. Chardonnay excels here, from BC’s pure and pristine Okanagan and Similkameen valleys, to Ontario’s limestone-laced benches, to Nova Scotia’s marine-swept soils, Chardonnay is Canada’s hallmark white. It’s just taken us a while to figure it out, and how to use this power to make world-class wines.

The adaptable and hearty grape flourishes easily in almost all climates and conditions, making it one of the most widely-planted grape varieties on the globe. That also sets it up to be the most maligned. The grape itself is fairly neutral, owing a great deal of its flavour to vineyard and winemaking decisions. It’s a blank canvas for winemakers to colour and control – too oft, with overuse of wood and ripeness. When those aren’t allowed to dominate, the clean, crisp, structural nature of the age-worthy grape emerges. Chardonnay is a true terroir transmitter, especially on limestone and chalky soils, those found in abundance in the grape’s traditional and glorious homeland of Chablis, Champagne and Burgundy.

This year the soils of Niagara Peninsula shone bright, with the top NWAC wines coming from Twenty Mile Bench, Lincoln Lakeshore, Vinemount Ridge, Beamsville Bench and neighbours. Cooler-climate, single-vineyard sites rose to the top of BC’s entries, illustrating that preservation of place wins out over power any day. It’s as easy as ABC.

Leaning Post Chardonnay Wismer Vineyard
Leaning Post 2014 Chardonnay Wismer Vineyard, Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario

Redstone Chardonnay Select Vineyard
Redstone 2013 Chardonnay Select Vineyard, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario

Tawse Quarry Road Vineyard Chardonnay 2013
Tawse 2013 Chardonnay Quarry Road Vineyard, Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario


Trius 2015 Showcase Chardonnay Wild Ferment Oliveira Vineyard, Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario

Gold Medal

Baillie-Grohman 2014 Chardonnay, British Columbia
Château des Charmes 2014 Chardonnay Paul Bosc Estate Vineyard, St. David’s Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Hidden Bench 2014 Têté de Cuvée Chardonnay, Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Meyer 2015 Tribute Series Chardonnay Old Main road Vineyard, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
Mission Hill 2015 Perpetua, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
Quails’ Gate 2015 Rosemary’s Block Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
Redstone 2013 Chardonnay Limestone Vineyard, Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Redstone 2013 Chardonnay, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Stanners 2015 Chardonnay Prince Edward County, Prince Edward County, Ontario
Tawse 2013 Chardonnay Lenko Vineyard, Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Tawse 2013 Robyn’s Block Chardonnay, Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Thirty Bench 2014 Small Lot Chardonnay Estate Vineyard, Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario

Silver Medal

2027 Cellars 2014  Wismer Vineyard – Fox Croft Block Chardonnay, Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
50th Parallel 2015 Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
Adamo 2015 Wild Ferment Chardonnay Wismer Foxcroft Vineyard, Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Adamo 2015 Wismer Foxcroft Oaked Chardonnay, Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
CedarCreek 2015 Platinum Block 5 Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
Closson Chase 2015 Closson Chase Vineyard Chardonnay, Prince Edward County, Ontario
Creekside 2015 Chardonnay Queenston Road Vineyard, St. David’s Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Flat Rock 2014 The Rusty Shed Chardonnay, Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Fort Berens 2016 Chardonnay, British Columbia
Hidden Bench 2014 Felseck Vineyard Chardonnay , Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Hidden Bench 2015 Estate Chardonnay, Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Jackson-Triggs Okanagan 2016 Reserve Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
Kitsch 2015 Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
La Frenz 2015 Chardonnay Freedom 75 Vineyard, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
Maverick 2015 Chardonnay Cross Road, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
Meyer 2015 Chardonnay McLean Creek Vineyard, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
Meyer 2015 Micro Cuvée Chardonnay McLean Creek Vineyard, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
Meyer 2016 Stevens Block Chardonnay Old Main Road Vineyard, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
Rosehall Run 2016 Hungry Point Chardonnay, Prince Edward County, Ontario
SpierHead 2015 Chardonnay GFV Saddle Block, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
Stanners 2015 Chardonnay Lincoln Lakeshore, Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Trail Estate 2015 Chardonnay (Unfiltered), Niagara Peninsula, Ontario

Bronze Medal

2027 Cellars 2013 Aberdeen Road Chardonnay , Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Black Hills 2015 Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
Black Swift 2014 Chardonnay Pinecrest Vineyard, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
Daydreamer Marcus Ansems Chardonnay 2015, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
Dirty Laundry 2016 Naughty Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
Fielding 2015 Chardonnay Estate Bottled, Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Kacaba 2016 Unoaked Chardonnay, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Leaning Post 2015 The Fifty Chardonnay, Ontario
Legends Estates 2016 Reserve Chardonnay, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Little Engine 2015 Silver Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
Meyer 2016 Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
Nk’Mip Cellars 2015 Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
Nk’Mip Cellars 2015 Qwam Qwmt Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
Nomad at Hinterbrook 2014 Chardonnay, Niagara Escarpment, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Quails’ Gate 2015 Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
Red Rooster 2016 Chardonnay, British Columbia
Robin Ridge 2015 Chardonnay, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia
Tawse 2013 Chardonnay South Bay Vineyard, Prince Edward County, Ontario
Tawse 2013 Estate Vineyards Chardonnay, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Tawse 2014 Chardonnay Quarry Road Vineyard, Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Tawse 2014 Chardonnay Robyn’s Block, Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Tawse 2014 Estate Vineyards Chardonnay, Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
The Good Earth 2015 Chardonnay, Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Wayne Gretzky 2014 Estate Series Chardonnay, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario