In Niagara Falls, every August, the judging for the Intervin Wine Competition takes place. These wine awards are designed to recognize the very best of international wines available to Canadian consumers.
Although the 2017 results will not be released until November it is fitting that LCBO Vintages is showcasing Ontario wines and Flagship In-Store-Discoveries (FISD) in this release. Most of these “Flagships” are too pricey for my budget, but I had no difficulty finding some other gems at incredible price points.
My go to wine is always Ontario. This province has the VERY best of everything: from farm to table food, to sports and entertainment; our wine selection is unbeatable and incomparable. Harvest time will soon be here and I hope you’ll be inspired to pick up a few bottles you’ve not tried before. I can almost guarantee you may find a new favourite.
Here’s to Ontario wine shopping, a place to stand, a place to grow, Ontario-ario- ario !
That jingle never grows old!
If I only had $100, I would buy…
LCBO Vintages Release for Saturday September 16, 2017
Creekside Marianne Hill Riesling 2015
VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario
$20.95 (Vintages #443572) 10.5% alcohol
Stunning and expressive, well deserved for the Gold Medal winner at the 2017 National Wine Awards of Canada.
I can’t wait to see what other accolades may be in store for Creekside and this gem. Beautifully balanced with flavours of green and yellow apples, peaches and flinty wet stone which shows in many Niagara escarpment Rieslings.
Light-weight with gentle fruit flavours, a perfect afternoon wine to sip or to try with crab cakes, sushi or lighter lunch fare. Mellow and delicious.
Featherstone Four Feathers 2016
VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario
$14.95 (Vintages #341586) 12.5% alcohol
I have written previously on different Featherstone Estate Winery wines and this one is so lovely I could not neglect it in this release.
The blend of Riesling, Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc brings out the very best in each of these varietals. Slightly off-dry, delicate and aromatic, well structured and layered with flavours of apples and stone tree fruits that decorate the palate in one lovely wash. It has a lingering fruity finish.
Perfect for salads, grilled shrimp or fish tacos; an easy sipper and a wine that has something for everyone.
I cannot imagine anyone who could not like this wine.
Firebird Legend Pinot Grigio 2016
PGI Vulcansti, Moldova
$12.95 (Vintages #74351) 12% alcohol
The very odd time I feature a wine that I was not able to taste and this is one of those. Moldova is a country sandwiched between Ukraine and Romania in the Black Sea basin where the vines grow.
Historically, there are over 112 thousand hectres of vineyards and over 30 types of varietals so I assume these folks must have achieved some finesse somewhere along the lineage. One website boasted tropical fruit flavours with zippy acidity, so for that price point, for me, it is worth a try.
Tawse Sketches of Niagara Rosé 2016
VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
$17.35 (Vintages #172643) 12% alcohol
Not just any Rosé, this blend of Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir and Gamay makes a lively entry with it’s handsome cranberry colour and aromas of ripe cherries and a pinch of white pepper. On the palate are impressive strawberry and watermelon flavours. It’s driven by lively acidity and some rhubarb on the elegant finish.
Bone dry which makes it a perfect accompaniment to grilled chicken, salmon or just on its own with some soft cheeses.
Always a class act.
13th Street Red Palette 2016
VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
$15.95 (Vintages #244558) 13 % alcohol
13th Street Winery has to one of the prettiest wineries along the Niagara Escarpment I think. Not only is there a spacious tasting room with floor to ceilings windows, but upon entry, the long spectacular table gives it an art gallery feel. The bakery farmhouse next door also makes it a worthwhile stop for lunch or to grab an outstanding butter-tart.
This Red Palette blend is so juicy; bursting with red cherry and ripe raspberry flavours with just a hint of green savoury spice on the finish. Medium bodied, the varietals of 62% Merlot and 38% Cabernet Franc make it a perfect accompaniment to turkey, ham or salmon (I am already thinking about Thanksgiving!). Well rounded and perfectly balanced with soft tannins and a hint of smokey acidity on a decent cherry finish. You could partner this alongside just about anything from fish to pork/veggie kebabos or mild Thai take-out. Simply delicious.
Traipiche Fina Las Palmas Gran Reeserva Malbec 2014
Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina
$16.95 (Vintages # 186668) 14.5 % alcohol
Malbec is Argentina’s signature grape and no one grows it better than Traipiche. At altitudes higher than the CN tower, Trapiche was one of the first Argentinian wineries to enter the international scene. In 1889, the winery received its first international award in Paris.
Dark and inky in colour, rich and expansive on the nose your senses are fillled with luscious black and ripe red fruits that flow through on the palate. Everything Traipiche produces is worth picking up and their wines are a great price point. This Malbec is full-bodied and not for the faint-hearted, structured with layers of blueberry and ripe plum favours, some spice and tobacco on the finish. It’ll be forever in memory with braised short ribs and spicey sausages.
I can’t wait to pick this up and head to the butcher.