Monday, February 22, 2010

Coyote's Run
(Photograph taken by Kevin Brochu)

The one unique aspect of Coyotes Run that sets them apart of every other winery in the Niagara Peninsula is their use of soil. Whereas most wineries don’t touch their soil to display the flavour of the “terroir”, Coyotes Run has engineered their soil to make two different distinct wines. They drew a line that divides their vineyard separating the two different soils that they use. The first half is composed of dark black clay that is common to the Niagara Peninsula and gives rich and earthy flavours and aromas. The other side of the vineyard is composed of red soil that is not common to the area, and gives flavours and aromas like fruit and sweet perfumes. Their soil-segregated vineyard can be used in two different ways. The first way is to produce separate wines that come from different soils in order to emphasize the impact that soil has on the wine. The second way to utilize having two distinct soils is by blending varietals (type of grape) that come from different soils in order to produce a wine with more depth and complexity.

I tasted and judged the 2008 Unoaked Chardonnay and the 2008 Black Paw Vineyard Chardonnay.

2008 Unoaked Chardonnay - $14.95

Visual: Light Straw.

Aroma: Faint aroma of pear and citrus with some floral notes.

Flavour: Citrus fruit, pear, tangerine, well-rounded with a great acidity balance.

My Opinion: I had extremely high expectations walking into Coyotes Run because I have always heard wonderful things, especially surrounding the use of their two different soils. Unfortunately, I was disappointed with what I found. I have a feeling that people held this winery in high regards for their reds and not their Chardonnays. In my opinion, although their Chardonnays were descent, they did not stand out in a region that specializes in Chardonnay. The 2008 Unoaked Chardonnay was still very young. As a result, the aroma was very faint and the flavour was not as pronounced as it will be in a year or so. However, there were some nice fruit flavours with a nice acidity balance. To be honest, the 2008 Unoaked Chardonnay wasn’t anything special.

My Rating: 65/100 - I do not recommend this wine.

2008 Black Paw Vineyard Chardonnay - $21.99

Visual: Light Straw.

Aroma: Faint aroma of cream, hazelnut and butterscotch.

Flavour: Well layered and velvety, little bitter, nice acidity, citrus, nice hazelnut with a long lingering finish.

My opinion: This wine is very young but has lots of potential. I really enjoyed the aroma. Although it was faint, the aroma of cream, hazelnut and butterscotch gave me a very warm and comforting feeling. The flavour was very surprising because there was a mix of good and bad attributes. Starting with the negative, the flavour was very faint and it was a little bitter. However, the bitterness could indicate that the wine is going through a state of bottle shock. Essentially, bottle shock is a state of unsettled shock that the wine goes through when recently bottled. This gives the wine a very bitter and acidic flavour. The positive aspects regarding flavour are that it is very well layered and displays a velvety texture with a nice hazelnut and citrus flavour with a long lingering finish. The long lingering finish tells me that this wine is of very high quality. Rule of thumb, the longer the flavour lingers and stays with you, the better the wine is. Sharp abrupt finishes is a sign of a lower quality wine.

My Rating: 70/100 – Give this wine a year or so to age and my rating of 70 might become a 75 or 80.


  1. Kev, well written blog and insightful thoughts. Do you come up with these descriptions about the aroma and flavour yourself, or do you know what they are suppose to taste and smell like before hand? Impressive if they come from you.

  2. Yep, I come up with it all by myself. I have worked at wineries in the past and I have gone through a lot of training and wine tasting seminars so I have become quite good at it over the years. I may take a sommelier program one day, but for now I am just a well informed enthusiast!

    Thanks for the comment!

  3. I love your passion for wines! This blog has definitely taught be alot. Thanks