From the warmer, riper, but ultimately still cool-climate vintage of 2018, Le Grand Clos Pinot Noir is simply stunning – a head-shaking synthesis of dense richness and raciness. Le Grand Clos is always a bit austere, but with the glorious vintage variation we saw in 2018, it presents an alluring amalgam of dense, intensely-floral black raspberry perfumes somehow intertwined with darker forest fruits (mulberry, brambles) on the nose, with only the faintest whiff of wood smoke (for now - will soon integrate. With little evolution as yet, it is already showing an almost decadent, intoxicating deep rose-petal and mulberry fruitiness on the nose. Usually, with Le Grand Clos’ terroir, one first senses a great brooding tension of fruit and longevity under the mantle of a fine perfume, but this year, the terroir serves up a less reticent bouquet framed by black raspberry and brooding mulberry. At first, in tank and barrel, it seemed a warmer vintage to enjoy “on the fruit” – however, over the long months of maturation, it has slowly dawned on me that this is a “keeper” vintage with incredible power AND poise. Profound. This wine still has much to teach us of local terroir, and of the longevity of Pinot Noir from the Niagara bench’s most august terroirs.With greater vine age, we sense even greater precision - and yet – confoundingly – a greater weight that will certainly grow up around the wine in bottle.