By Chadsey’s Cairns PTO 2015
Prince Edward County, Ontario
$24 - Winery only
Happy new year friends! It’s been awhile since I posted and I have to apologize. The last few weeks have been super busy with family, friends, and festivities and I just haven’t found any time to sit down and tell you about all the fabulous wines I’ve been drinking.
Because there have been many.
But perhaps the closest to my heart is this one. It’s from a special little winery in Prince Edward County that David and I happened upon on one of our first day trips out there. We fell in love with the charming property immediately: it’s old structures, rustic barn, and perfect country graveyard calling back to past generations of farmers who kept the land before anyone had thought to plant vines there. By Chadsey’s Cairns is a really special place — there’s some County magic in the air — and it definitely helps that they make delightful high-acid reds and interesting whites and that visiting is always a treat.
I first tried the PTO not at the winery, but on our one-year wedding anniversary. We got a bottle of the 2013 as a gift and we toasted our first full year of matrimony and it was amazing. But the truly great thing about this little guy is that it isn’t just a special occasion wine — it’s at a price point and a delight point that mean you could enjoy it any damn day of the week and suddenly everything is better.
I picked this bottle up last summer at the winery, and what can I say? I think I liked it even better than the 2013. It's just so good, I fell in love all over again.
The PTO is a sparkling version of By Chadsey’s Cairns’ Three-Point Hitch, which is a blend of St. Laurent and my fave Gamay. It’s made the in the Charmat method and the result is this beautifully fresh, tart, spiced berry concoction that sparkles on the tongue with a bit of tannic structure that compliments all foods. All of them. (We may have paired it with fried chicken, but who is to say?)
The Three-Point Hitch is also really delicious, and worth tracking down before it inevitably sells out. Plus, these two wines are a great intro to St. Laurent, a mysterious grape that’s mostly grown in Eastern Europe but can occasionally be found in other cool climates. It’s a lovely aromatic, high-acid red that’s often compared to Pinot Noir. I haven’t had the opportunity to try much of it because, surprise surprise, not much makes its way to Ontario. But honestly, I’m happy with my PTO, my Three-Point Hitch, and the occasional single-varietal bottling from Harwood Estates. Because, as they say, good things grow in Ontario.
Anyway! Before I go off all jingly, let me just say this: this wine is a treat. Maybe you’re uncomfortable with the idea of red sparkling wine? Maybe it’s time to get over that and drink this bright, light, delight!
Oh and the winery has been for sale for years, so if anyone wants to go splitsies so we can hoard all this deliciousness for ourselves, hit me up in the comments!
Nose: Sour cherry, crabapples, lots of red fruits with some black pepper and spice. It’s also got a bit of that yeasty deliciousness you get in sparkling wines. It smells like a sour spicy cherry candy you’re going to bite into and you’re going to love it.
Palate: Oh that mousse is so good. The texture was amazing and mouth-filling, rounding out the tart cherry goodness. It’s spicy, with some red and black fruits and a royal gala apple thrown in for good measure. The entire liquorice family showed up, too: red to black and back again. It’s just so tart and delicious, it smells and tastes just like the County and my notes literally descended into things like, “it just makes me feel good, it just makes me happy,” “I just really love this” and “we should just always drink this forever.” So take that for what it is