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Niagara Wineries - this could be an excellent year
01-29-2011, 05:05 PM
Post: #11
RE: Niagara Wineries - this could be an excellent year
Ice wines really are more of a dessert thing - on the whole, they tend to be incredibly sweet and almost syrupy compared to typical varietals. Personally, I can't just sip them ... they're way too sweet. Here in Niagara, most ice wines are from vidal or riesling grapes, but a few growers have been making them from pinot noir.

Inniskillin is a good ice wine maker, as is Hildebrand and Henry of Pelham. Hillebrand also sells a late harvest riesling, which is about an 18 on the sugar scale (compared to maybe 30 for a proper ice wine, and perhaps 1 for a dry riesling or a base merlot). It's not as expensive, and not quite as concentrated as ice wine.

To me, ice wine is best when served with a sweet desert - something fruity, as opposed to chocolate. Warm apple pie, or an apple/pear crumble, is pretty tough to beat.

State of Grace .... hope you enjoy your visit (and your wine!). Tell us about it when you return. :-)
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01-30-2011, 10:14 AM
Post: #12
RE: Niagara Wineries - this could be an excellent year
There is a small winery in Beamsville, ON. in the Niagara Region that has an amazing Chardonnay. Aged in Oak, it is one of the best white wines that I have ever tried. If you are ever in the area, check out the Cornerstone Winery. You can sample anything that they have on the shelf.
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01-30-2011, 12:03 PM (This post was last modified: 02-04-2011 08:59 AM by State of Grace.)
Post: #13
RE: Niagara Wineries - this could be an excellent year
(01-29-2011 05:05 PM)Symmetre Wrote:  Ice wines really are more of a dessert thing - on the whole, they tend to be incredibly sweet and almost syrupy compared to typical varietals. Personally, I can't just sip them ... they're way too sweet. Here in Niagara, most ice wines are from vidal or riesling grapes, but a few growers have been making them from pinot noir.

Inniskillin is a good ice wine maker, as is Hildebrand and Henry of Pelham. Hillebrand also sells a late harvest riesling, which is about an 18 on the sugar scale (compared to maybe 30 for a proper ice wine, and perhaps 1 for a dry riesling or a base merlot). It's not as expensive, and not quite as concentrated as ice wine.

To me, ice wine is best when served with a sweet desert - something fruity, as opposed to chocolate. Warm apple pie, or an apple/pear crumble, is pretty tough to beat.

State of Grace .... hope you enjoy your visit (and your wine!). Tell us about it when you return. :-)

Nice post! Your right that some people still find it too sweet but I've seen instances of paring ice wine with non dessert items that off set or compliment the sweetness and it is very intriguing.

I really enjoyed my visit back to Niagara and spending a beautiful sunny but cold winter day at Inniskillin in the Ice Wine vineyards and in their cellar. A beautiful place and very welcoming staff! They did have a Cabernet Franc Ice Wine as well. I could have blown a lot of dollars there! I really wanted to buy the Ice Wine Syrup... regret that I didn't.

One of the really cool things they did was have these outdoor bars completely made of ice! And to compliment that they had glasses made of ice for the Ice Wine tasting. We had a great time in Niagara! Cheers!

Here's a few of the promotional pictures taken that day:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sixsongs/se...813826571/

(01-30-2011 10:14 AM)neilpeartrules Wrote:  There is a small winery in Beamsville, ON. in the Niagara Region that has an amazing Chardonnay. Aged in Oak, it is one of the best white wines that I have ever tried. If you are ever in the area, check out the Cornerstone Winery. You can sample anything that they have on the shelf.

Sounds very nice! Thanks for the lead... I will have to investigate.

FAITH is fear and doubt standing in HOPE. Angel
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02-01-2011, 01:05 PM (This post was last modified: 02-01-2011 01:06 PM by Symmetre.)
Post: #14
RE: Niagara Wineries - this could be an excellent year
Tawse Winery, in Vineland, ON, is another excellent stop on any wine tour. They aren't known for their ice wines (which are excellent) so much as for their incredible, award-winning Chardonnays (which are among the best in the world). It's a gravity-fed operation, and a great tour.

Chateau ds Charmes, near Virgil, ON, is another great Niagara winery, with a broad selection of very good wines. Rief Estates, near Niagara on the Lake, also worth a stop .... along with Vineland Estates, named after their hometown.

Then there's Flat Rock Cellars .... oh geez, I could go on for a while. So many wineries, so little time!!
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02-04-2011, 09:11 AM
Post: #15
RE: Niagara Wineries - this could be an excellent year
(02-01-2011 01:05 PM)Symmetre Wrote:  Tawse Winery, in Vineland, ON, is another excellent stop on any wine tour. They aren't known for their ice wines (which are excellent) so much as for their incredible, award-winning Chardonnays (which are among the best in the world). It's a gravity-fed operation, and a great tour.

Chateau ds Charmes, near Virgil, ON, is another great Niagara winery, with a broad selection of very good wines. Rief Estates, near Niagara on the Lake, also worth a stop .... along with Vineland Estates, named after their hometown.

Then there's Flat Rock Cellars .... oh geez, I could go on for a while. So many wineries, so little time!!

I love to hear people gushing about Niagara and Canadian wines! You can go on about it anytime!

I corrected the picture link in my last post... I apologize for not noticing before now. If you are passionate about all things wine you can add us on facebook... 'Two in a Vineyard' is the name of the TV show. Set to air this Fall 2011 and Spring 2012. (I hope this is not out of line for the forum rules, if it is please remove my post, no worries. I would understand.)

FAITH is fear and doubt standing in HOPE. Angel
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02-11-2011, 06:14 PM
Post: #16
RE: Niagara Wineries - this could be an excellent year
While at the store today (not just any store, but one of the largest wine, beer, booze stores in the area) I took a look at their assortment of ice wines. The owner suggested a Gretzky Ice Wine. He told me it was one of the best he has tried. It will have to wait a week or so. The price tag was $50 for 375 ml. For that price it better be good!!
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02-12-2011, 12:14 AM
Post: #17
RE: Niagara Wineries - this could be an excellent year
I must confess I've always been a bit suspicious of celebrity-endorsed wines, but the Gretzky stuff has been a pleasant surprise. The un-oaked Chardonnay is quite nice, and a good value at about $15.
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02-12-2011, 09:13 AM
Post: #18
RE: Niagara Wineries - this could be an excellent year
(02-11-2011 06:14 PM)RN-PRN Wrote:  While at the store today (not just any store, but one of the largest wine, beer, booze stores in the area) I took a look at their assortment of ice wines. The owner suggested a Gretzky Ice Wine. He told me it was one of the best he has tried. It will have to wait a week or so. The price tag was $50 for 375 ml. For that price it better be good!!

Yes, it is pricy stuff! Especially if you don't end up liking it. Keep your eyes out for smaller sampler bottles of it. I picked up a 50 ml bottle of Riesling Ice Wine for $10 (Canucky money) to send to a friend of mine in the U.S. who has never tried it before. That is the best way to try it and not waste money in the process.

(02-12-2011 12:14 AM)Symmetre Wrote:  I must confess I've always been a bit suspicious of celebrity-endorsed wines, but the Gretzky stuff has been a pleasant surprise. The un-oaked Chardonnay is quite nice, and a good value at about $15.

I agree with you. I've tried Gretzky's wines and have also tried Dan Ackroyd wines and did not mind his Merlot. Very fruity and full of flavour. At a very low price point as well. For the price it is decent enough wine.

FAITH is fear and doubt standing in HOPE. Angel
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03-26-2011, 01:17 PM
Post: #19
RE: Niagara Wineries - this could be an excellent year
WTF, figure I'll chime in, for what it's worth, I'm starting to really like Niagara wines - but - you have to get used to the style, the whites can be very, very good, but you generally have to spend a bit more than bargain bulk Aussie or American wines to get something drinkable - BUT! - once you spend the money, what you get is a quintessential cold-climate style, and - if you really want to spend the bucks - like say $50+ on a top end Tawse or Clos Jordan Chardonnay - you get a wine that will almost certainly outshine the Aussies or the Americans in that higher price range! I've been lucky enough to compare side by side to the American / Aussie group, and the hi end Niagaras generally won - but they're more lemony/limey/mineral than warm climate peachy; and you have to like that style.

The reds are another story ... sadly ... in Niagara, the heat units generally aren't there, though every now and again they DO pull off something wonderful - the good news is, at this point, they're past "Farmer Wine", when folks who just got into it, spewed out barrels of skunky plonk. The Pinot Noirs are coming along, but usually haven't quite been perfected ( too much cold-soaking, and still not enough fruit for the money ) - though I have been happily surprised. Cabernet Franc does really well in Ontario, and I really like it, in all its sour-cabbage, rhubarb/raspberry splendor - but most people can't get past the funk. So the reds are taking longer to get right than the whites, I think a lot of it is Ontario's wild yeast / bret just naturally has a sour-cabbage note ( much as South Africa's bret has the coffee/burnt rubber note that you have to learn to love ).

I think Ontario will slowly get there, probably eventually finding a Merlot, Cab-Franc/Cab-Sauv based something blend that could be worked up consistently ( Trissette by Willow Heights was along these lines, funky, but very wonderful ) but getting a good Bordeaux blend won't be easy ( Stratus does do very good stuff, but it's expensive and you must like the funky Ontario style ), as for a consistent killer pure(ish) Cab-sauv, that will probably never happen (consistently) at any price - the heat and the bud-killing cold Ontario winters just aren't on that side. Maybe, eventually a cab-clone will come along and let it happen, but not yet. ( and maybe Lithic Mulch, a typical cold climate farming trick, but that still won't help much in the bud-killing winter if it gets too cold ).

Ok, I've gone on enough Wink

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04-04-2011, 10:04 AM
Post: #20
RE: Niagara Wineries - this could be an excellent year
Niagara's climate means it will most likely always be known for its Rieslings, rather than its reds. Global warming may change things over time, but for now, at least, those magical hot dry summers just don't happen consistently enough.

Having said that, when we do get a hot dry season, the reds can be spectacular. I looks like the 2010s will be among the best ever, even better than the outstanding 2007 Niagara wines.

Wifey and I attended a futures tasting over the weekend. The wines we tried are obviously quite young and still developing, but you can easily sense where they're going. We bought a couple cases (chardonnays, merlots and cab francs, mostly) ... these will be excellent once they mature.
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