A Wine Lover’s Diary review of Kirby Estate wines by Tony Aspler

In his latest entry, "A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 894: Kirby Estate and a Surprise," Tony Aspler provides an insightful glimpse into the heart of Niagara-on-the-Lake's burgeoning wine scene with a focus on Kirby Estate. Owned by the passionate duo, Scott and Maria Kirby, the estate has woven the essence of its terroir into the very fabric of its identity, right down to the artful label designs.

Tony's visit, accompanied by his London friends, unfolds into a narrative that reveals the finesse of Kirby Estate's varietals – from the elegantly crafted Chardonnays to the complex, Pomerol-style Merlots. Aspler's scores are a testament to the dedication behind each bottle, with his tasting notes painting a vivid picture of Kirby Estate's meticulous winemaking process. For wine enthusiasts eager to indulge in the full sensory journey that Aspler experienced, his detailed review is a must-read. Dive into the subtleties of Kirby Estate's exquisite portfolio at Tony Aspler's Wine Diary, and discover why this estate is leaving a lasting impression on the Niagara wine landscape.

A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 894: Kirby Estate and a Surprise

By Tony Aspler

London friends Allison and Richard visited us, and we toured some vineyards with them, beginning with a new winery, Kirby Estate in Niagara-on-the-Lake, owned by Scott and Maria Kirby. The K of their name is artfully woven into their label design which is a map of the vineyards varietals. Their wines are currently made at Cloudsley by Matt Smith. They grow Chardonnay, Merlot, Gamay, Pinot Blanc and Petit Verdot on 11 acres of their 17.5-acre property.

Kirby Estate Chardonnay 2019

Bright, golden colour with a greenish tint; light toasty, minerally nose of vanilla, apple and caramel; elegant, medium-bodied, dry, lovely mouthfeel with a crisp, lemony finish. (92)

Kirby Estate Chardonnay 2020

Slightly deeper shade of gold with the same greenish tint as the 2019; minerally, apple and pear bouquet with a toasty oak note; medium to full-bodied, richly extracted flavour of apple and pear, full on the palate and beautifully balanced; elegant, well-integrated oak. Great mouthfeel and length with a note of green pineapple on the finish. (93)

Kirby Estate Merlot 2018

Ruby with a tawny rim; spicy, toasty cherry nose with vanilla oak notes; medium-bodied, dry, cherry and plum flavours with a judicious use of oak; very elegant. (92)

Kirby Estate Merlot Reserve 2020

Deep ruby-purple in colour; cedary, vanilla, ripe plum bouquet; medium-bodied, dry, richly extracted and firmly structured, Pomerol style. Lovely mouthfeel with a saline note on the finish. (93)

Kirby Estate Signature Merlot 2020

Deep ruby-purple colour; cedary, vanilla, toasty cherry and plum nose with oak spice and a beguiling floral note; medium to full-bodied, firmly structured, richly extracted plum and cherry flavours full on the palate with cashmere tannins and a note of dark chocolate on the finish. (93–94)