Nyarai Cellars Wines

2007 Chardonnay, $16.20
2007 Cabernet Merlot, $18.20
Nyarai Cellars
Niagara
Available online only

The concept of a virtual winery is a fast growing trend in Ontario, probably because it makes sense financially and logistically. Many winemakers (there are 6 in Ontario right now) are eager to have their own labels but lack the infrastructure to own and cultivate their own property. Such is the case with winemaker Steve Byfield. With plenty of winemaking experience under his belt (Southbrook, Ridgepoint, now Calamus), he recently launched his new virtual artisan winery Nyarai. Steve now has the ability to produce from his favourite varietals (Sauvignon blanc, Chardonnay, Cab-Merlot) using locally harvested grapes. The wines, are unbelievable, and they’re selling out fast.

After hearing great things about Nyarai’s Sauvignon Blanc, I finally had the opportunity to taste their portfolio at the recent Fiesta Buckhorn event.

The 07 Cab Merlot is a divided blend of 35% Cab Sauv, 33% Merlot, 17% Cab Franc, and 15% Syrah. Sourced from both the Beamsville Bench and Niagara-On-The-Lake, this wine was aged for 13 months in 100% French oak. Mouthfilling flavors of plums, blackberries, red currants and black spice with firm but elegant tannins that provide great structure. This wine is a great candidate to pair with a marbled lace grilled steak.

The 07 Chardonnay was produced from a great vintage year. It was maturated in French oak barrels for 12 months, fruit exclusively selected from 2 of the finest sites in Niagara-On–The-Lake. It’s intensely tropical with accompanying acidity. You can even detect vanilla and pear lingering around the ends. This wine will be sold out in the next month. If you see it, buy it. Only 361 cases were produced.

Two Blockbuster wines under $20. If you ever have the opportunity to taste Nyarai’s portfolio, I highly recommend it (especially if Steve is pouring his super low production Syrah) as the wines clearly show the dedication and craftsmanship of an experienced and passionate winemaker.
Nyarai Cellers, 3100 Glen Road, Jordan, ON
www.nyaraicellars.com 1.905.562.5214