OUTSTANDING ONTARIO WINES
Every year, most Ontario wineries send four of their best wines for a blind peer judging. Those that are deemed to be outstanding are presented at a charity event titled Cuvee. Awards according to set criteria are revealed during the March event, which this year at the Niagara Falls Casino.
64 wineries submitted 264 wines, which were judged blind by winemakers and voted according to their deep knowledge of viti-and viniculture.
Wine writers are presented most of those wines during a separate session before Cuvee takes place.
As laudable as this exercise is, there are some wineries that openly criticize the criteria, and claim that winemakers have a “cellar palate” and not a consumer palate.
Also, each winery must pay an entry fee for the wines submitted and feel that they don’t receive returns in publicity to warrant the expenditure. In addition to this there are not sufficient categories for all the wines to be properly classed i.e only three categories for chardonnay are simply insufficient to accommodate all the different interpretations.
At least six respected Ontario wineries did not participate this year.
The following wines stood out:
19th Street Chardonnay, 2010, 2027 Cellars
This virtual winery’s Chardonnay vented in Burgundian style smells perfumey, offer an excellent, smooth and elegant mouth feel with a satisfying and long finish.
$ 30.00 winery only
Chardonnay Reserve, 2009, Reif estate Winery
Klaus Reif, a graduate of Germany’s Geisenheim Wine Academy, is a meticulous winemaker. This old-gold Chardonnay smells of apples and pears. Full bodied (13.5 per cent ABV) well balanced with great depth and superb finish.
Small Lot Riesling, Steel Post Vineyard, 2010, Thirty Bench Wine Makers
This small, quality oriented winery on the Niagara Bench has always produced fine wines. This Riesling is no exception and offers lime aromas, is light, and balanced with some refreshing minerality.
91/100 (winery only)
Sparkling Brut, Mike Weir Estate Winery
The winemaker used Chardonnay and Pinto Noir in equal proportions to cerate this elegant, aromatic, clean- tasting, and flawless sparkling wine.
Riesling Icewine, 2007, Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery
Sue-Ann Staff, educated at Guelph University and in Australia’s famous wine school of Roseworthy Wine School was able to vint a memorable icewine exuding dried fruit aromas. The is low in alcohol
(8.3 per cent ABV), but elegant and refined with an outstanding balance of sweetness and acidity.
Available at the winery only
No price provided
Insieme, 2009, Colaneri Estate Winery
A blend of equal proportions of cabernet sauvignon, syrah, and merlot, has a crimson colour, with a lot of extract, depth and abundant ripe berry flavours. Full bodied and powerful. Long aftertaste suitable for deeply flavoured dishes.
$ 34.95 (Winery only)
Reserve Pinto Noir, 2009, Flat Rock Cellars
Strawberry aromas dominate. In the mouth, smoky flavours are detectable. It is medium-bodied, elegant, and refined.
$ 45.00 Winery and Vintages
Enotrium Gran Riserva, 2008, Magnotta Winery
Blended using merlot (50 per cent), cabernet sauvignon (25), and cabernet franc (25), this superbly extracted, powerful, flavourful and balanced wine offers depth and layered flavours of ripe berries and spices. Grapes were subjected to the appasssimento process of drying for a few months.
$ 45.00 Winery only