Wine, Wine Reviews

Impressions of the annual Ontario wine event

Wine Festival
Wine Festival

Despite the fact that wine making and marketing are less lucrative than most other businesses, the number of wineries in the province is growing at unprecedented numbers.

More and more small enterprises are springing up. Some owners grow grapes and sell most of the crop, keeping a small portion to make their own wine with the help of a consultant.

Overall, quality of white wines on offer tasted off dry and somewhat better than in previous years. Reds may require more refinement.

Several wineries now increase natural sugar levels by drying (appassimento) the grapes either in kilns (originally used to dry tobacco leaves) or in well-ventilated rooms. Some of those wines attain unusually high levels of alcohol, occasionally exceeding 16 per cent. Such wines may be fine but only in small servings after an extended meal.

Surprisingly, out of more than 200 wines, only one winery poured a vidal icewine. Ontario is the largest ice wine producer of the world. Boutique wineries produce small quantities (3000 to 5000 cases) and pay more attention top growing fruit and vinification.

Unfortunately boutique winery wines are available only at the winery, or by mail.

Surprisingly, only one “virtual” winery participated, although there are now close to ten such wineries in the province.

Below are my recommendations:

Sparkling wine

Riddled, 2009, Flat Rock Cellars
90/100
$ 29.95

White wines

Late Harvest Gewürztraminer, 2013, Hidden Bench Vineyards and Winery
93/100
375 ml $ 50.00

Rosmel Vineyard Nuit Blanche, 2012 Hidden Bench Vineyards and Winery
91/100

South Closson Chase Chardonnay, 2013, Closson Chase Winery
92/100
$ 39.75

Sandstone Vineyard Chardonnay, 2010, 13th Street Winery
89+/100
$ 29.95

Reserve Viognier, 20122, Creekside Estate Winery
89+/100
$ 29.75

Riesling, 2013, Di Profio Wines
89+/100
$ 17.60

Nadja’s Vineyard Riesling, 2013, Flat Rock Cellars
89+/100
$ 19.95

Red wines

Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010, Foreign Affair Winery
89+/100
$ 34.75

Enortium Gran Reserva, 2009, Magnotta Winery
91/100
$ 45.00

Stouck Meritage, 2011, Malivoire Winery
89+/100
$ 34.95

G Assemblage, 2011, Rennie Estate Winery
89+/100
$ 39.80

Scarpata Cabernet Sauvignon, 2011, Rennie Estate Winery
90/100
$ 44.80

Estate Series Pinot Noir, 2011, Cattail Creek Estate Winery
89+/100
$ 18.95

Gamay Noir “Droit” St. David’s Vineyard, 2010, Chateau des Charmes
89+/100
$ 16.95

Delaine Vineyard Syrah, 2011, Jackson-Triggs Winery
89+/100
$ 32.95

Le Clos Jordanne Vineyard Pinto Noir, 2010, Le Clos Jordanne
92/100
$ 40.00

Lailey 5, 2012, Lailey Vineyards and Wines
90/100
$ 45.00

Syrah, 2012, Lailey Vineyards and Wines
90/100
$ 27.00

Neufeld Vineyard Meritage, 2010, Palatine Hills Estate Winery
90+/100
$ 29.80

Ravine Vineyard Reserve Merlot, 2010, Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery
90+/100
$ 45.00

The Magician Kiln Dried Shiraz/Pinto Noir, 2012, Reif Estate Winery
89+/100
$ 25.95

Pinto Noir Unfiltered, 2011, Norman Hardie
90/100
$ 39.00

Please note that all above wines are available at the winery only or by mail.
They are produced in small or very small quantities (100 – 600 case lots)

Contact the winery for more information regarding availability before visiting.
Small wineries open their tasting rooms only a few days a week.

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