2018 Therianthropy “David Eagle” Gamay, Twenty Mile Bench VQA, Ontario, Canada (Alcohol 13.1%, 2.1 g/L) Available from various discerning establishments around Ontario (750ml bottle)

Having tasted this lovely little bottling at The Living Vine’s most enjoyable Pop-Up Bottle Shop on Ossington a couple of months back, I was delighted to receive a sample this week to give it something of a retaste, and I can tell you that it has most certainly improved with just a little time in bottle; so much so that before I knew it I had finished off the entire bottle. I was actually rather upset when I poured myself the very last glass.

Attractively quirky label aside, the wine within is undeniably attractive in its own right.

With fruit sourced from the rich clay loam soils of the increasingly sought-after Foxcroft Wismer Vineyard, the wine presents with considerable complexity in the glass. A welcoming bouquet of black cherry, hedgerow brambles, cracked pink peppercorns, rosewater, and fennel seeds greets the imbiber, leading to a fresh, snappy mouthfeel with gloriously supple tannins and a seriously lovely fruit/acid balance with a delicate touch of savoury mineral-like nuances on the back of the lengthy palate.

It ticks all the right boxes with its production: 21 year-old vines, dry farmed, hand-harvested/sorted, five day cold soak, spontaneous (and longer) ferment, 30% whole-cluster, gentle pressing/punchdowns/pumpovers, and nine months in neutral oak (on fine lees with no stirring), unfiltered/unfined, plant-based composite “cork” , and a nice smelling beeswax seal. It’s a pretty complete package, and most worthy of your attention if you see it on a winelist.

I’m looking forward to seeing more wines from the Winemaker, David Eiberg (and perhaps we’ll shoot a video interview!)

4.5 apples out of 5
(Four and a half apples out of a possible five)

Jamie Drummond

Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And he’s unashamedly greedy for Gamay.