Skip to main content

It’s not cheap, exactly. But the marvellous flavour and the story behind this wine might place it in a more agreeable perspective. First of all, Mike Traynor is a smart farmer and gifted tinkerer in the winery with a passion for natural, minimal-intervention techniques, among other things. Second, this chardonnay was made with special and rare grapes. In 2017, some of Traynor’s chardonnay vines became infected with a “good” fungus known as Botrytis cinerea, or noble rot. During periods of excessive moisture, when the fungus attacks grapes, it pierces their skin and slowly promotes water evaporation, concentrating sugars and enhancing flavours in the berries.

Many dessert-wine producers, notably in Bordeaux, take this opportunity to craft exotically flavoured sweet wines such as Sauternes. Traynor’s chardonnay fruit, however, had been destined for a fine, dry, skin-fermented table wine called 5th Element. Rather than using the Botrytis-affected fruit for that purpose, he performed a cull in the vineyard, harvesting the raisin-like fruit to make a separate wine. And instead of leaving a ton of sugar in the tank, he let the wine ferment all the way to dryness and a balanced level of 13.5-per-cent alcohol.

Story continues below advertisement

The result is very special. Golden in colour and ever-so-slightly hazy from contact with the lees, the wine tastes – what’s the word? – wholesome in the manner of the best natural wines. Medium-bodied and delectably fleshy and ripe, it offers up pronounced tropical-fruit flavours of mango and grilled pineapple along with popcorn, brown butter, brioche and toasted nuts. A new Canadian icon wine (let’s just hope the Botrytis keeps coming back to Traynor’s vineyard). Available direct in extremely limited quantity, traynorvineyard.com.

  • Year: 2017
  • Region: Prince Edward County
  • Varietal: Chardonnay
  • Price: $50

rating out of 100

92

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter