Saturday, September 01, 2012

Niagara Trip Aug 18th: 17 Tasted of 17

Salutations to the Sun
The Table's set for Charcuterie
My BH and I visited all but two of the planned wineries on the  Friday of our two day trip to nearby Niagara Peninsula and the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. Staying overnight at the Jordan House wasn't as inviting as our last year's stay at the Inn on the Twenty but the room was clean and quiet and the staff very personable. I'll have to plan our trip earlier as each year there's ample proof of the  growing popularity of Niagara Wine Country's hospitality. 

We arrived at Rosewood Estates at 11:00am on the Friday then went on to Organized Crime
A manicured welcome at Vineland
(closed), Vineland Estates - expressly to taste their 2 new labels -  then to Featherstone Estate which is home to 2027 Cellars, a virtual winery, as well as a satisfying charcuterie lunch, then to Calamus Estate, 13th Street Winery landing at Cave Spring Cellars by mid afternoon check-in. A few sips of a chilled Chenin Blanc and a two hour snooze gave new life to my ageing bones preparing us for a four course meal paired wonderfully with Cave Spring Dolomite wines.

Saunter the shoppes

The next morning we sauntered through Main Street's boutiques, had a selection of breakfast treats... then a tasting and purchase of a selection of Cave Spring wines. 

Home of Niagara Gold

Packing to check out of our room on Saturday by 11am we headed first to the Upper Canada Cheese shop then to

DiProfio Winery to try Nyraia whites before heading to Niagara-on-the-Lake for a Shaw play, Misalliance, at the Royal George theatre. Unfortunately the extreme personalities and a theme of dysfunctional relationships in the first Act overwhelmed us. We skipped the 2nd Act. 

Main Street NOTL was crowded with vacationers - ice cream and fudge weakened our willpower giving us the energy to get back into the car. Our last effort was to stop in at Lailey Vineyard where the
Bistros at Capacity
Making fudge in NOTL
tasting room server managed to
pour two of Derek Barnett's whites. Attempting to taste at the crowded bar was futile so our stay was shortened.

Going there and returning home was a breeze with traffic on the QEW moving at 120km/hr - an enjoyable ride.

Salut, Ww

THE LINEUP - grouped by winery:   (See the Winery website for OnLine ordering)

  • Rosewood Estates Sémillon 2010 VQA Beamsville Bench,  91-2  --  O, Beamsville, Ontario,  #Winery  $18.20
  • Rosewood Estates Renaceau Vineyard Riesling Reserve 2008 VQA Beamsville Bench, 91-2  --  O, Beamsville, Ontario, #Winery  $20.20

  • Vineland Estates - no purchase 

  • Featherstone Estate Winery 2010 Canadian Oak Chardonnay VQA Niagara Peninsula, 90-2  --  O, Beamsville, Ontario, #149302  $21.95 
  • Featherstone Estate Winery Red Tail Merlot 2010 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 85a  --  O, Vineland, Ontario, #131540  $19.95 

  • 2027 Cellars Falls Vineyard Riesling 2008 VQA Vinemount Ridge, 91-2Cellar  --  V, Vineland, Ontario, #294041  $18.95 
  • 2027 Cellars Fox Croft Vineyard Riesling 2011 VQA Twenty Mile Bench, 90-1  --  O, Vineland, Ontario, #Winery  $25.20

  • Calamus Estate Winery Riesling 2011 VQA Vinemount Ridge, 85a  --  O, Jordan, Ontario, #Winery  $16.20
  • Calamus Estate Winery Unoaked Chardonnay 2010 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 84  --  O,  Jordan, Ontario, #Winery  $14.95
  • Calamus Estate Winery Riesling 2010 VQA Vinemount Ridge, 83  --  O, Jordan, Ontario, #158642  $16.95
  • Calamus Estate Winery Pinot Gris 2011 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 81  --  O, Jordan, Ontario, #Winery  $17.20  

  • 13th Street Winery Old Vines Riesling 2009 VQA Creek Shores, 90-1  --  V, St. Catharines, Ontario, #272617  $23.95
  • 13th Street Winery Pinot Gris 2011 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 85 --  O, St. Catharines, Ontario, #Winery   $19.95
  • 13th Street Winery Viognier 2011 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 82  --  O, St. Catharines, Ontario, #Winery   $19.95

  • Cave Spring Estate Bottled Chardonnay Musqué 2010 VQA Beamsville Bench, 88-1  --  V, Jordan, Ontario, #246579  $15.95 
  • Cave Spring Estate Bottled Sauvignon Blanc 2008 VQA Beamsville Bench,  86  --  V, Jordan, Ontario, #071662 $18.95
  • Cave Spring Dolomite Pinot Noir 2010 VQA Niagara Escarpment,  86  --  O, Jordan, Ontario,  #Winery   $21.95
  • Cave Spring Dolomite Riesling 2010 VQA Niagara Escarpment,  84  --  O, Jordan, Ontario,  #Winery  $16.95 

  • Nyarai (DiProfio) - no purchase

  • Lailey Vineyard - no purchase

(V - Vintages, G - General, O - Other, r-v  - Rating-Value, a - aerated, NR - Not Rated)


ROSEWOOD ESTATES SÉMILLON 2010 VQA Beamsville Bench,  Beamsville, Ontario,  13.5%  D  5.6g/L,   #Winery  $18.20  (Tasted September 25, 2012)  
Available from the Winery.  My notes:  A pale blond, sparkling clear with faint aromas of lime and stone fruit or orange blossom. A thin film left on the glass has a lacy rim that quickly sheds legs until only nodules remain. Letting air ten minutes brings out some cream to a first sip along with a pleasing spice and lemon apple apricot flavour that lasts and builds with each sip before ending on a spicy mineral note. An elegant sipper that would please anyone. Start with an amuse bouche, switch to the sémillon and followup with lobster pieces or braised scallops - not too much seasoning.  Cellaring for several years would likely add to what is now a reasonably complex charmer.  91

ROSEWOOD ESTATES RENACEAU VINEYARD RIESLING RESERVE 2008 VQA Beamsville Bench,  Beamsville, Ontario, 12.0%  D  xg/L, #Winery  $20.20  (Tasted September 9, 2012)

Available only from the Winery.  My notes: There's a suspicion of green in the light golden blond and a swirl brings a slowly receding uneven rim. On the pour the nose has a light fragrance of pleasantly spiced lanolin. A sip layers the palate with pear, peach, tart apple and dry mineral balanced so not one is prominent. The finish carries the flavours well with slight chalk remaining. A great summer sipper, dry with a touch of natural sugar - I'd say 8g/L. Held its own with an impromptu plate of lean bacon and field tomato slices on toasted onion bun and hot mushroom lentil soup. Now four years on and another four may show more polite petrol. Worth the try.  91

FEATHERSTONE ESTATE WINERY 2010 CANADIAN OAK CHARDONNAY VQA Niagara Peninsula, Vineland, Ontario,  13.0%  XD  4g/L,  #149302  $21.95  (Tasted September 26, 2012)  CS

A Vintages release on April 14, 2012.  My notes: 198 cases.  There's a slight tarnish to the gold for an oldgold look and a soft burnt caramel scent to a citrus aroma. A firm film hangs long legs from a lacy rim before quickly sliding into fragmented islands. The caramel flavour takes precedence over fruit, a touch of silk and a finish that goes to a long tangy butterscotch. Have with roast chicken, Rainbow trout, seasoned Thai or Chinese buffet. Sipping depends on your proclivity to oak this being clean and well integrated. Cellaring for a few years may mellow the whole for an interesting mouthful. 90
FEATHERSTONE ESTATE RED TAIL MERLOT 2010 VQA Niagara Peninsula,  Vineland, Ontario, 13.0% XD  xg/L,  #131540  $19.95  (Tasted August 31, 2012)  CS . A Vintages release on March 3, 2012.  My notes: 522 cases. A touch of varnish in the nose airs slowly leaving a delicate vanilla tobacco scent -  aerating speeds up things. The film sticks to the glass and a continuous rim drains slowly thru' long legs. The first sip has a penetrating tang, aerating gives some softness to the tangy merlot, perhaps from young vines, having a crushed cherry pit flavour with a dryness continuing a long while. A lightish medium-bodied with some possibility to develop more smoothness and density over five years - lacks terroir. When aerated a mild drink now - match with grilled pork tenderloin or beeferoni pizza. Cellar or sip now only if aerated.  85a
2027 CELLARS FALLS VINEYARD RIESLING 2008 VQA Vinemount Ridge, Vineland, Ontario, 10%  D  18g/L, #294041 $18.95  (Tasted October 1, 2012)  CS
Vintages release date is not available My notes: 160 cases.  A green tint in the glass with a light beeswax, lime and fresh apple aroma. A swirl leaves a lacy rim that quickly recedes into small traces on the sides. The first sip has a crab apple tartness as well as flavour adding a suspicion of lanolin then going into a full tart apple-lime that's chalk dry on the palate. Becomes a tooth cleaner with successive sips... better as a prelude to fresh oysters or a seafood course. I'd cellar for several years to subdue acids and bring forward pleasing textures that lurk. 89 as a drink now.  91-2Cellar

2027 CELLARS FOX CROFT VINEYARD RIESLING 2011 VQA Twenty Mile Bench,  Vineland, Ontario, 11.0%  D  15g/L,  #Winery  $25.20   (Tasted September 12, 2012)
Available from Featherstone Winery.  My notes: 300 cases.  There's a touch of lanolin along with a sniff of mild honey in the nose. The colour is a faint blond. A thin film leaves a rough edged rim that sheds slow tears finally forming small nodules. A mild honey flavour bursts onto the palate with the first sip and a tang builds carrying with it a touch of sweet then ends with dryness on the tongue. A thirst quencher with canapés or soft cheeses, pair with seared scallops on skewers, tilapia filets or Thai dishes. Cellaring a few years should be possible - perhaps some petrol will show.  90

CALAMUS ESTATE WINERY RIESLING 2010 VQA Vinemount Ridge, Jordan, Ontario,  12.0%  D  15g/L, #158642  $16.95  (Tasted August 29, 2012)  CS

A Vintages release on August 18, 2012 and rated 90 by Rick VanSickle  (October, 2011).  My notes:   A light, crisp and clean, gold with negligible nose, perhaps a really light grapefruit. A swirl leaves a rim that quickly recedes. The first sip is pleasingly tangy with soft flavours of lemon and pear making this a hot summer day off-dry sipper, perhaps with a few cubes and lime slice. Have with grilled tilapia and basmati rice served with lemon wedges - but not easily paired for its sweetness - try with Thai or sushi. A drink now.   83

CALAMUS ESTATE WINERY UNOAKED CHARDONNAY 2010 VQA Niagara Peninsula,  Jordan, Ontario, 12.5%  D  9.4g/L, #Winery  $14.95  (Tasted September 20, 2012)
Available only from the Winery.  My notes: 200 cases. Aeration lessens aromas but mellows out some of the vegetal flavouring and is my preference.  Without aeration there's an aroma of lanolin, pineapple and stone fruit and the colour is a crisp, clear mid golden. A swirl leaves an uneven rim that flows long tears clearing the glass except for a few nodules.  A buttery texture combine with slight citrus and butter cream flavours provide an easily quaffed sipper. The finish fades slowly to a light oil and a residual of the initial taste. Pair with a cheese tray with fruit dips or preferably roast chicken with a creamy pasta. A drink now. 84

CALAMUS ESTATE WINERY RIESLING 2011 VQA Vinemount Ridge, Jordan, Ontario,  12.0%  XD  6.8g/L, #Winery  $16.20  (Tasted October 4, 2012)
Available only from the Winery.  My notes:  450 cases.   A golden blond colour with stone fruit and lime aromas when aerated - serve well chilled. The film is on the thin side leaving a lacy rim that declines slowly shedding a few tears. The first sip is bright on the palate and brings stone fruit, tart apple and lime followed by a mineral layer that builds and lasts in the mouth. Did not sense sweetness although a moderate roundness infers a there's a tad residual sugar edging a refreshing tartness. If aerated sip otherwise pair with seafood or creamed chicken. Drink now or cellar a few years. 85a

CALAMUS ESTATE WINERY PINOT GRIS 2011 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Jordan, Ontario, 12.2%  D  12.1g/L,  #Winery  $17.20  (Tasted September 3, 2012)

Available only from the Winery.  My notes: 400 cases.  There's a just perceptible pink hue in the light blond colour and almost a pear apple scent in the nose. A mineral dryness coats the tongue at the end of the first sip seemingly contradicting a suspicion of sweet in the background. Apple pear flavours add interest as a sipper and a mild acid may partner nicely with mild seafood dishes, grilled cod or tilapia w/ basmati rice. A Thai combination may also be appropriate - but I'd have a backup.  A drink now. A blend of Niagara grapes give this an uncertain terroir altho' the dryness comes from the Niagara Escarpment the home of the winery.  81
13th STREET WINERY OLD VINES RIESLING 2009 VQA Creek Shores,  St. Catharines, Ontario,  12.0%  D  xg/L,  #272617  $23.95  (Tasted August 29, 2012)  CS

A Vintages release on February 18, 2012 My notes:  90 cases. The golden colour is a tad deeper and the aroma of beeswax and lemon is pronounced from the first sniff. The film sticks to the glass while the rim hesitates to recede then falls evenly. The first sip is dry but is sufficiently smooth to carry lemon and petrol through a long mellow finish. If you prefer a distinct petrol in the nose and flavour this is your Riesling. Quite a long finish makes this a pleasing sipper. Have with grilled seafood almost competes with grilled salmon. A drink now to three years.   90

13th STREET WINERY PINOT GRIS 2011 VQA Niagara Peninsula, St. Catharines, Ontario, 13.0%  D  4g/L, #Winery  $19.95  (Tasted September 4, 2012)

Available from the winery.  My notes:  450 cases.  Pouring brings a delicate peach colour to the glass with no noticeable fragrance at 11oC  - a soft scent comes forward as the temperature heads higher. There's some silk and a slight sweetness adding interest to a mild stone fruit of the first sip. The touch of sweetness is balanced by a mild acid followed by a chalky dryness over a moderate finish. Could be an interesting sipper for a summer afternoon, with chilled apricot slices in rich cream perhaps - better with a table of seafood on crackers, a tray of soft cheeses or a selection from a Thai menu. A drink now.  85
13th STREET WINERY  VIOGNIER 2011 VQA Niagara Peninsula, St. Catharines, Ontario, 12.5%  D  6.2g/L,  #Winery  $19.95  (Tasted September 5, 2012)

Available from the winery.  My notes:  270 cases. A pale blond leaving a thin film that accumulates then recedes evenly from a lacy rim. A nose that's slightly perfumed with a mild  lemon lime seam. Acid comes with the first sip letting oily stone fruit flavours develop before coming forward. The same flavours carry through a long finish until finding a mineral oil ending leaving the fruit behind. A well made off dry white with a distinct fragrance and flavour.  For me, not a sipper. However, could be for those with an acquired taste and should be OK with grilled seafood or Asian entrees. A drink now.  82

CAVE SPRING ESTATE BOTTLED SAUVIGNON BLANC 2008 VQA Beamsville Bench, Jordan, Ontario, 12.0%  XD  2g/L, #071662  $18.95  (Tasted September 10, 2012)  CS

A Vintages release date is not available.  My notes: A Vintages release date is not available.  My notes: A hint of asparagus with faint lemon lime, a touch of green in the golden colour and a light film layering a lacy rim that fragments to small islands introduces this white. A bright tang is the first sensation followed by lemon lime flavours and a parching mineral dryness for a first sip. Could be a refresher for a warm day or a silent partner with grilled seafoods: scallops or cod on a bed of basmati and sliced green/red peppers. A drink now to be served chilled to friends with a buffet table - fresh oysters for sure.  86

CAVE SPRING ESTATE BOTTLED CHARDONNAY MUSQUÉ 2010 VQA Beamsville Bench, Jordan, Ontario, 12.5%  XD  2.5g/L,  #246579   $15.95  (Tasted September 16, 2012)  CS

A Vintages release date is not available.   My notes:  There is a greenish hue to a mid golden colour and a scent of lime, pear and muscat. The film is moderately firm  leaving many slow tears. More muscat comes out in the flavour accompanied by a smooth melon with a tangy dryness. The finish is long with flavours softening leaving more tang and a touch of oil on the lips - this builds with each sip.  A mineral aspect may limit it as a social sipper although the soft texture is pleasing. There's sufficient acid to complement Asian dishes as well as a variety of grilled seafood. A few more years cellaring may settle some questions, ie. where does the oiliness come from?  88
CAVE SPRING DOLOMITE RIESLING 2010 VQA Niagara Escarpment, Jordan, Ontario,  12.0%  XD  11g/L,  #Winery   $16.95  (Tasted August 29, 2012) 

Available at the winery.  My notes:  Previously tasted in March 2012 with the same rating. A light straw colour, crisp and clean, with a soft lemon nose. The rim quickly runs long legs then recedes slowly to fragments. Tangy on the first sip but polite. Light pink grapefruit flavours are appealing as a social sipper - pair with Thai or sushi. I did not get dolomite as in previous vintages but the finish is soft, drying and lasting. Have with grilled shrimp, scallops or white fish not too seasoned. Not for cellaring but a enjoyable drink now.  84  

CAVE SPRING DOLOMITE PINOT NOIR 2010 VQA Niagara Escarpment,  Jordan, Ontario, 13.0%  XD  5g/L,  #Winery   $21.95  (Tasted September 3, 2012)

Available at the winery.
  My notes:  This went well with medium rare beef medallions with steamed vegetables. Showing its mild flavours, prominent acid and fine tannins I'd call it a polite red easily overwhelmed by seasoned dishes. The colour is a see-through red cherry. The film flows quickly from a lacy rim leaving only dotted islands behind. There's a scent of rhubarb and berries too mild to excite but enough to be noticed. The first sip leaves warmth on the palate under a tasty layer of red berry/cherry with the dry touch of mineral. This needs the character of a fine meal to show its merit -  also an interesting sipper for a quiet occasion. May not benefit from cellaring.  86

No comments: