Two items of news in from Canada this morning.
Firstly comes the news that one of the country's most talented winemakers is leaving his post. Thomas Bachelder has been responsible for the exceptional Chardonnay and Pinot Noir produced by Le Clos Jordanne, the joint venture between Canadian giant Vincor and ambitious Burgundian Boisset since its inception in 2003, as reported here.
He will stay on as consultant initially but is setting up his own consultancy business with his wife Mary Delaney. As he puts it, 'I am turning consultant, yes, eyeing Le Clos Jordanne as my first and primo client, sort of taking on the executive winemaker/shepherding role Pascal Marchand [ex Comte Armand in Pommard] had at the beginning.
'It's my turn now, and Sébastien Jacquey (a sickeningly smart Burgundian with four degrees, including one in terroir! ) after three years with me in the vines and cellar, will be taking the reins.
'I shall be keeping myself to consulting for but a very few domaines in the north east and perhaps Burgundy so that Mary and I have the time to devote to a few dearly held projects of our own. I have no doubt I will live in my spiritual (and ancestral?) home - Burgundy - some day, retaining strong links to Oregon and my beloved limestone Niagara Bench.'
I first came across Bachelder's work through the exceptional wines he made when working at Lemelson.
This news arrived just before this image of a label on a new Vincor Cellared in Canada brand, acknowledging the mainly Australian origins of the wine. It was sent by Richard Karlo of Karlo Estate, one of the most outspoken critics of this controversial category of wine. He writes, 'I was in one of the Vincor wine stores today and found this bottle. Looks like the message is getting through. A Cellared in Canada wine with a label that is clear. Congratulations to Vincor for making this change (finally). Still many more to go but a big step in the right direction.'