2020 Rosé Moira
93 Points – Michael Godel www.winealign.com
From vines planted by proprietor Martin Malivoire "close to home" in what is the eponymous vineyard. Moira is a Beamsville Bench icon and has been for quite some time now, without question, nothing to discuss here, case closed. There is a complex and layered developed notation that Vivant does not have, not fort better or worse but Moira requires more thought and consternation. You can no longer think on it in terms of salinity, sapidity and satisfaction. Something more and other must be considered. Style. Style is what separates Moira from most other Ontario Rosé and in 2020 it exudes with prejudice and finesse. When a sip of a wine in this category stays with you for as long as Moira does, well you just know greatness is in the glass. This can saunter with the very best of Southern France. That's the truth. Kudos to winemaker Shiraz Mottiar for this. Drink 2021-2025. Tasted April 2021.
2020 Vivant Rosé
90 Points – Michael Godel www.winealign.com
Yet another stellar Vivant and from what will surely come to be recognized as a top quality Rosé vintage on the Peninsula. Salinity comes across as fine as ever and flavours are really developed. The tell-tale strawberry is there, along with whole cluster actionable gumption that encourages complexities to take this above and beyond simply fruit, sugar and salt. Truly a thirst quenching wine, not a crunchy one but one that you savour, of an interior swirl that coats and satisfies. If ever a Beamsville Bench or any Niagara Rosé were to be considered classic and guaranteed then here is one for the top of that list. Drink 2021-2023. Tasted April 2021.
90 Points, Rick Vansickle, WinesInNiagara.com
This unique (for Niagara) Melon de Bourgogne was whole cluster pressed and aged in stainless steel tank with extended lees contact. It shows zesty lime, fresh peach, perfumed pear and lemon blossoms on the nose. It’s steely and vibrant on the palate and loaded with ripe orchard fruits, zesty citrus and a lingering, fresh finish. Summer in a glass!
92 / 100: Aromas of floral notes and citrus waft from the glass of this summer quaffing wine—it’s reminiscent of Moscato d’Asti only not as sweet, much more balanced. It’s chockful of sweet-tinged flavour—with grilled pineapple, ripe Bosc pear and excellent balancing lemon acidity. It’s light on its feet with plenty of spritz, making it near-perfect for a summer sipper. Vic Harradine, Winecurrent
94 points, Vic Harradine, WineCurrent
An eclectic bevy of aromas leap from the glass—pipe tobacco, mocha, and black bramble berry interlaced with hints of grilled savoury herbs and exotic incense. A surge of flavours blanket the palate with black raspberry and black plum intertwined with pie cherry and oodles of tangy pizzazz. It’s medium-plus bodied with generous mouthfeel and soft, ripe tannin for underpinning. This showcases persistent purity of fruit, is balanced on a pin and delivers a luxurious finish and aftertaste decorated with palate replays of fruit and flavour. Drink now to 2025. (Vic Harradine)
93 points, Rick Vansickle, WinesInNiagara.com
Moira Chardonnay 2018, the other Beamsville Bench single-vineyard Chardonnay from Malivoire, was named as one of the most thrilling white wines of 2020 by Wines In Niagara. And this one, from winemaker Shiraz Mottiar’s own vineyard, could easily fit into that same list. The wine is wild fermented in older French oak puncheons and than aged in barrel on the lees for nine months. Only 60 cases of this wine were made. Wow, such a lovely lemony/saline nose of pure minerality with pear, apple, nectarine and integrated spice notes. It has gorgeous texture on the palate with rich stone fruits, toasted almonds and vanilla with a deep vein of stony minerality and spice on a bright, zesty, lifted finish. Just lovely and will only get better with a few years in the cellar.
93 points, Rick Vansickle, WinesInNiagara.com
One of the finest Gamays I’ve tasted in the last 12 months. Primary fermentation took place in a custom-built limestone concrete tank, with 10% of the fruit fermented in whole clusters. 70% of the wine was transferred to neutral oak barrels and aged for 16 months. The rest was aged for 10 months in new oak with a further 6 months in neutral oak. Malivoire takes its Gamay seriously! It has a highly complex nose of black cherries, underbrush, wild raspberries, plums, pinch of spice and savoury herbs. It’s simply gorgeous on the palate with fresh crushed red berries, underlying earthy/loamy notes, dark plums, spice, some tannic structure, length and a tangy finish. A Gamay that will withstand some cellaring to see how it develops. Like I said, wow!
91 points, Vic Harradine
A lifted nose of caramel, lemon citrus and apple aromas abound. It captures the palate with tang-laden flavours of lime cordial, crisp green apple and ripe pear persisting through the long, mouth-watering finish and aftertaste. This is medium bodied with deft balance, good texture and mouthfeel. The quality-price balance tips well in your favour; give this a go with white, three-cheese (chèvre, Gouda, mozzarella) and sliced-mushroom pizza. Drink now to 2023. (Vic Harradine)
93 Points Winealign.com, Sara D’amato
Fleshy and generous but also well structured and aromatic. This merlot has it all for serious fans of the variety. Notes of iodine, dried leaf and a hint of leather derived from time in bottle add further depth to this fine, maturing example. The sweetness of fruit has faded to jammy but it is still quite available. Blackberry bud, violets and a crunchy saltiness lingers on the finish of great length. Tasted May 2020.
Am ambitious, very ripe, heavily vanilla-inflected example of Niagara merlot here from Malivoire, quite thick and pasty, concentrated to be sure. Tannins are equally thick and abundant but also slick and ripe, while fruit is ripe and in the expected plummy-dark end of the spectrum. The Stouck farm is clearly a successful place for the variety, even if it's not a Niagara strength overall in my view. Cellar this for another 1-3 years, or hold into the late '20s. Tasted May 2020.
91 Points Winealign.com, David Lawrason
Here's a lovely merlot from a ripe vintage that actually delivers the plummy, blackberry and floral aromas that are signature to the variety. All nicely couched in oak vanillin and spice. It is a mid-weight, quite tender, still cool climate style, and there is a screen of dusty tannin that might need a year or two to soften. But still, this pretty and easy to enjoy now. Tasted May 2020
90 points Winealign.com, Michael Godel
Expressively aromatic merlot here from Dan Stouck’s vineyard that can’t seem to help but deliver these kind of notary varietal drifts. Verdant, smoky, notable as being cedar-tinged and very dark of blue and black berries. The palate lingers and lingers well past average times and leaves you to pause before considering sipping on anything else. These are all signs leading to structure and the portents for longevity. Would love to revisit in 2026 or forward. Drink 2020-2026. Tasted May 2020.
92 points, Sara d’amato, WineAlign.com
A tightly composed cabernet franc, cleanly made with attention to the preservation of aromatic character - cabernet franc's most important asset. Clean, modern, with purity and balance. Very much touched by the sophisticated style of winemaker Shiraz Mottiar. Excellent length. Tasted May 2020.
90 points, John Szabo ms, WineAlign.com
A cabernet on the leafier, more herbal side of the spectrum, well within varietal parameters, though in the lighter, zestier idiom. It's still very youthful and even a touch reductive, with some peppery notes joining crunchy fresh red and black raspberry fruit. Tannins are fine and gritty and acids fresh. It's the sort of wine to tuck in the cellar for another year or so, then chill lightly and enjoy with a plate of charcuterie. Tasted May 2020.
90 points, David Lawrason , WineAlign.com
From the Wismer Vineyard, this is light and lively version of cab franc very much in Malivoire's style. There is very little perceptible oak. The nose expresses typical violets, currant-raspberry fruit, fresh herbs and pepper, the latter really trailing on the finish. It is a light to mid-weight juicy style. Easy to drink. Tasted May 2020
90 Points, Michael Godel – Wine Align.com
Just about to be bottled (Tuesday January 14th). Picked late because the acids extended longer than usual and 10 per cent of the fruit comes from winemaker Shiraz Mottiar’s home vineyard. Sugary (not sugared) melons, undeniable and absolute salty and marine shell-like melon de bourgogne notations. The specificity of citrus with ever-present neutral grape spirit streak of embracing acidity. Woke melon, wake-up call to more please. Imagine the possibilities with an increased sur-lie styling. More plantings and potential yields could make this happen. Will receive one last sulphuring before bottling. Drink 2020-2024.
91 Points, John Szabo, MS - WineAlign.com
Very pale colour. Aromatically wound up for now; lightly smoky-flinty, crunchy and fresh - terrific acids here, saline and succulent. White flowers, citrus, white grapefruit flavours lead on a transparent, crystalline, lean and pure frame. Very good length. 800 cases made. Tasted January 2020.
91 Points, Michael Godel – Wine Align.com
Production is “as much as I can get from that site,” tells Shiraz Mottiar, so maximum 800 cases. As always the aridity and the salinity continue to rise, the acids, minerality, near brininess and ultimate stoic balance so secure at the top of the game. Such a high acid vintage for everything but certainly that includes Rosé, yet still the least amount of skin-contact of the three Malivoire blush. Acids just don’t correlate to hue and flesh. Thank pH for the needle’s movement in how this translates from vintage to vintage. Drink 2020-2024. Tasted January 2020.
Chris Waters, Waters on Wine (Instagram); Globe & Mail; March 22, 2020
Another prime example of the next level rosé coming from @malivoire The new single Vineyard Moira Rosé is made from 100 percent pinot noir grown on the winery’s founding vineyard. It’s refreshingly dry and flavourful, with attractive berry/cherry and citrus notes. The mouthwatering acidity and mineral notes adds to the charm.
2019 Vivant Rosé
Chris Waters, Waters on Wine (Instagram); Globe & Mail; March 22, 2020
Few Canadian wineries take rosé as seriously as @malivoire. It was part of the opening inventory and has been subject to ongoing research and development to a point where @malivoire pink portfolio stands amongst the very best wines in the country. The new Vivant Rosé is made from 100 percent estate grown pinot noir and is 100 percent delicious. Its bright and fruity character is refreshingly dry and complete. Drink now to 2022. Available online. Scheduled @lcbo April 4 Vintages release
16.5 / 20 Jancis Robinson, JancisRobinson.com
A new wine in their range. 65% Cabernet Franc, 25% Gamay, 10% Pinot Noir. Most of the fruit is from Twenty Mile Bench but some from Beamsville. Cabernet Franc is two-thirds whole bunch and the Gamay is whole bunch with some carbonic maceration. Aged in very old barrels.
Lightish crimson. Attractive leafy dark-red fruit, very Cab Franc, very whole bunch – in a good way. There’s real depth of dark-red crunchy fruit and cedary pencil character. Feels richer than its 12%. Appealing and persistent. (JH)
2018 Small Lot Gamay
16 / 20 Jancis Robinson, JancisRobinson.com
From two sites. Hand-picked. One-third of the fruit is whole cluster in the bottom of the fermenter. Two-thirds fermented in concrete and one-third in an old oak vat. Barrel aged in very old barrels for up to 4 months.
Mid garnet. Less stemmy than their Le Coeur Gamay 2018 but still with a light and attractive herbal freshness. But more sweet fruit intensity. Red fruited, dry textured yet very sweet fruited (RS is just 3 g/l, apparently). Lively, long and refreshing. Chewy but fine. (JH)
2018 Moira Pinot Noir
16 / 20 Jancis Robinson, JancisRobinson.com
Two different sites, one high density, one more traditional spacing (1,500 vines/acre – it is double that in their high-density plantings). Five months in barrel.
Light ruby. Sweet red fruit plus a light, fresh and attractive stemmy note (10–15% stems). Refreshing and fine-boned. Fine tannins and long juicy finish. (JH)
2017 Cabernet Franc
17 / 20 Jancis Robinson, JancisRobinson.com
Bought-in fruit from Wismer. Highest elevation on the Bench but not as high as Vinemount Ridge. By Balls Falls. Mid cherry red. Pure, fragrant, classic Cab Franc. Herbal, gently chewy, so scented on the palate. Pure, long and refreshing with that fine herbaceous character yet fully ripe fruit. (JH)
Silver Medal Winner, 2019 National Wine Awards
The bright juiciness of Niagara fruit is delectably apparent here with flavours of plum, red and black cherry along with a touch of pomegranate. Notes of graphite and iron add further sophistication and complexity to the palate. Excellent value. Tasted NWAC19
Bisous Brut NV Gold Medal Winner, 2019 National Wine Awards
The WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada (NWAC), the country’s largest competition of Canadian wines, is held annually in mid to late June. Each year, somewhere in Canadian wine country, co-founders Anthony Gismondi and David Lawrason assemble Canada’s leading wine writers, trade buyers and sommeliers to evaluate the current crop of 100 percent Canadian grown and made wines and ciders.
92 points, R.Vansickle, WinesInNiagara.com
Whole cluster pressed and 100% fermented in concrete vats specifically built for Gamay and then aged in oak, 20% new, for one year. Always one of the most impressive Gamays in Niagara. Such lovely and inviting aromatics with blue plums, brambly raspberries, dark cherries, spice and stony minerality. It has gorgeous mouth feel and big flavours of plums, cassis, ripe red berries, earth and spice with depth and finesse through the finish. An age-worthy Gamay.
16.5 / 20, Jancis Robinson, JancisRobinson.com
Pinot Noir, direct pressing. Hand-picked.
Very very pale – Provence style. Red fruit, good concentration, a serious rosé for food but also fine on its own. Mouth-watering but has weight too, even with modest alcohol. (JH)
92 Points, John Szabo, WineAlign.com
This is terrific rosé, full stop. It's even better than the excellent 2017, in a style that appeals especially to me: firm, bone dry, with tension and energy, and delicious savoury salinity. Beyond that, it also has terrific flavour intensity, fully in the varietal pinot spectrum, indeed with more pinot character than many red versions of the grape. It's always a marvel when so much flavour can be carried on such a light and lively frame (12.5% alcohol declared), the product of nothing else but careful farming and low yields. This is the difference inherent in purpose-grown rosés, as opposed to afterthought/by-product rosés made in the saignée method. And for great pinot noir, $25 is a steal. Drink this summer, or next, or the year after - it has the stuffing to age, and even improve, in the cellar. Tasted April 2019.
91 Points, Natalie Maclean, NatalieMaclean.com
A lovely Niagara rosé from one of Ontario's best producers. Aromas of sun-dappled field strawberries and rose petals. Dry and refreshing. Terrific on its own or with seafood.
Pinot Gris 2017
90 Points, Natalie Maclean, NatalieMaclean.com
Crisp and fresh Niagara white wine made from the classic Pinot Gris grape. Fermented in stainless steel tanks to preserve fresh fruit and racy acidity for seafood. Medium-bodied.
Vivant Rosé 2018
90 Points, John Szabo, WineAlign.com – Another fine vintage for the Vivant Rosé, a pure pinot noir crafted in a fully dry style. I like the zesty acids and light but taut frame (12% alcohol declared), and lingering finish. There’s also notable salinity on offer, encouraging additional sips to quench that thirst. A benchmark.
2018 Ladybug Rosé
88 points - John Szabo, WineAlign.com
Lady Bug is the entry point to Malivoire's strong rosé portfolio, designed for maximum appeal, but I find this 2018 to be particular good, a step about previous examples. The blend is the usual cabernet franc, gamay and pinot noir, made in a deeply-coloured and fruitier style, but this vintage comes across as drier and fresher, more savoury than it has been in the past. I like the forward strawberry fruit and the gently herbal tinged imparted by the cab franc, while length and depth are more impressive than usual. The best Lady Bug in recent memory. Tasted April 2019.
2015 Mottiar Pinot Noir
91/100 - Andrea Shapiro (NatalieMaclean.com)
Scrumptious and delicate Pinot Noir from Malivoire. Located in the Beamsville Bench. Translucently, pale and shimmering garnet with ruby coloured sparkles glinting in the glass offer an abundance of refreshing red fruit and delicate spices. With a refined, soft mouthfeel, flavours reveal cola touches, bing cherries, raspberry and chewy mouthwatering pomegranate seeds ending with restrained - yet present tannins, supple spices and fresh flowery elements. A good pairing for Gouda cheese, pork tenderloin or grilled fish. Tasted July 2018
2017 Ladybug Rosé
92 / 100 - Natalie Maclean
It's no wonder that this is Ontario's most popular rosé. Lovely light and lifted aromas of wild field strawberries on a sun-dappled afternoon. Dry and refreshing and mouth-watering. This is a Niagara blend of Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir and Gamay grapes.
2017 Rosé Moira
(92 points) - Michael Godel, WineAlign.com
Malivoire’s most important and benchmark Ontario Rosé is one of the first to the table from the 2017 vintage and why not because its quick soak and lightness of being takes no time at all to get ready. This is the antithetical beauty of Rosé and how it must be approached for best results. Malivoire does not take a step forward from the most perfect ’15 and ’16 wines but there is more fruit in this ’17. You can actually nose and taste strawberry plus a hint of tart raspberry. This will appeal to more of the general Rosé loving populace without any compromise for the provincial, provençal geeks everywhere else. It's ostensibly a better wine in 2017 because it will attract that growing audience without having made any concessions or dis to authenticity. Drink 2018-2021. Tasted February 2018.
2017 Small Lot Gamay
(90 points) — WinesInNiagara.com
A lot of thought always goes into Malivoire’s estate Gamays. The Small Lot sees a portion of the grapes fermented in concrete with the rest fermented in stainless steel. Just under two-thirds of the wine is aged in neutral oak barrels for four months. The nose is rich in cherries, plums and raspberries with a certain earthiness and subtle spiciness. On the palate, the flavours of tart red fruits, spice and touch of blueberry benefits from ripe tannins, freshening acidity and a long finish. Only 12% abv.
2016 Courtney Gamay
(93 points) —— WinesInNiagara.com
Winemaker Shiraz Mottiar and the team at Malivoire have made it their business to be the best at Gamay and this is their top expression. There is no question about the pedigree of this wine from year to year. The 2013 vintage of the Courtney was named Wines In Niagara’s Most Thrilling Red Wine of 2016, and by the time the original review was even published this wine was sold out. I expect a similar fate for the 2016 vintage that just went on sale (hopefully there is some left by the time you read this). “Gamay is our story,” says Mottiar. “You can see us in these wines, our personalities are in these wines.” Up to 30% of the fruit is whole bunch pressed with 20% of the wine aged in ceramic. From the extremely warm 2016 vintage, this is the most concentrated version of the Courtney I have tasted with expressive, penetrating and uber-ripe aromas of black cherry, red plum, rhubarb, raspberry bramble, red currants, earth and spice notes. Such a magical wine on the palate — it has depth, complexity, a full range of rich red and dark fruits and integrated spice notes with plush tannins and enough acidity to keep it fresh on a long, long finish. Can age this for 2+ years.
2016 Courtney Gamay, Beamsville Bench
90 points, David Lawrason 90 Points
The Courtney gamay is the most individual expression of this grape in Malivoire's impressive range of gamays (the Beaujolais grape). It is from two clones planted in a warmer single block with some iron content in the soils. It shows lovely, lifted, floral, red fruit/cherry aromas - very pretty. It is light, elegant and juicy with very fine tannin and excellent length. Tasted March 2018
2017 Vivant Rosé, Beamsville Bench
91 Points, John Szabo, MS, WineAlign
The 2017 Vivant the finest of the three vintages of this wine produced thus far. It's now the mid-tier rosé from Malivoire, made from pure pinot noir grown on the Beamsville Bench, and the ripeness and balance have been nailed perfectly. Like the previous editions it's crafted in a pale, bone-dry, Provençal style, with fruit firmly in the tart red berry, citrus-lemon, green apple and white grapefruit spectrum. Acids are terrifically bright and lively on a mid-weight, crunchy frame, and the finish lingers nicely. Relatively to the slightly more expensive Moira Vineyard pinot rosé from Malivoire, I find this has a little more cut and vibrancy, if a touch less concentration. But concentration is of course not everything. Great value. Tasted March 2018.
2017 Rosé Moira, Beamsville Bench
91 points, John Szabo, MS, WineAlign
2017 has yielded a particularly ripe and concentrated Moira vineyard pinot noir rosé, with evident density and weight, and fruit that is starting to shift into the candied spectrum. In particular there's a good dose of candied orange and lemon zest, and candied cherry blossom. There's a bit of a sweet-tart edge on the palate (though the wine is bone dry, as with previous vintages), and length and depth are very good to excellent. I'd consider leaving this in the cellar until at least the end of the summer or into next year - it's the sort of rosé with structure and depth that should improve with age, especially if older vintages are taken into consideration. Tasted March 2018.
2014 Stouck Meritage, Lincoln Lakeshore
91 points, Evan Saviolidis, WineSaavy
Another super Stouck (vineyard) wine! This Meritage which is Merlot dominant doles out the chocolate, coffee, smoke, cassis, plum, cherry, herbs and baking spice. Full bodied with a concentrated palate and a great finish. Drink over the next five years.