Luckett Vineyards’ Ortega
Sometimes, while everyone else is flocking to the newest wine creations, a classic is quietly released to those waiting in the wings for something like Luckett Vineyards’s 2017 Ortega ($24).
Ortega, an aromatic white grape of the vitis vinifera species, native to Europe, is also moderately hardy, surviving to about -25° C. Winemaker Mike Mainguy of Luckett Vineyards turned heads with his 2011 Ortega, one of the first grape wines made at the vineyard—which, in its early days, produced mainly fruit wine from estate-grown blackberries, blueberries, cherries, peaches and plums.
The 2017 Ortega is a gorgeous expression of the grape and its place in the Gaspereau Valley: It is structured of course, by Nova Scotian acidity, and so, so nicely filled out by aromas of ripe peaches and lime and the richness that fermented fruit offers to the tongue. A note of haystack makes this Ortega reminiscent of Sauvignon Blanc and while Mainguy’s 2011 Ortega was Germanic in style, his 2017 rendition gives a satisfying bitter bite that could be almost Italian. Nova Scotian wine is great with food, but this is a bottle to enjoy on its own. Or with a second bottle of the same.