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World's most expensive icewine


Craig Camp
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Almost as shocking as Chateau Ste. Michelle's 200 $ Riesling:

Chateau Ste. Michelle-Dr. Loosen, Riesling, Eroica, Single Berry Select, 2000

Then again it was the price on release - could be even more shocking now...

Andre Suidan

I was taught to finish what I order.

Life taught me to order what I enjoy.

The art of living taught me to take my time and enjoy.

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Royal DeMaria is the equivalent of a cult icewine, if you can consider such a thing. They have limited production, low yields, etc, etc.

I've obviously never had the opportunity to taste any of their icewine, but it's apparently outstanding. Their icewine was also selected as the "official" icewine for the Queen's Jubilee celebration.

Although their wine is very expensive, apparently the people making the wine are very down-to-earth, generous, friendly people. A couple I know met them at a function and they were very nice.

As for my stance on icewine, there is some quality stuff being made. I haven't liked many Vidal icewine, and prefer Riesling or Cabernet Franc.

I picked up a dozen bottles in total from Pillitteri and Thirty Bench to bring to Italy with me as gifts for the producer's I'll be visiting in Piemonte and Toscana. Mostly Riesling, but I did pick up a couple bottles of Gewurztraminer as well.

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Amazing! Is anyone buying it at that price?

I wouldn't be surprised if Japanese tourists bought it by the case (if available). Perhaps that the market the producers are targeting.

I was at one of the duty-free shops at Vancouver International looking over the icewines. They were quite a bit more expensive than at my local Liquor Mart in Winnipeg. A Japanese man remarked that I'd be better off buying a couple of bottles from Air Canada's onboard duty-free. Slightly smaller bottles of the same icewine (Inniskillin in a grey-ish box), but a better value. He said, "Japanese people are so stupid. They just buy anything without caring about the price." From my experience, it is to a large degree true. Perceived prestige is far more important than price. That being said, a Cdn$50 bottle of icewine can sell for more than $100 in Japan so for Japanese tourists, paying $70 for a bottle at the duty-free shop is still cheap.

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As a Canadian waiter who has basically a bottomless cellar of icewines to push I tend to turn guests towards late harvest reislings. They are about a third the price of an icewine that has the certain brix level to be declared that (can't recall the # at the moment). I find that late harvest reislings aren't as sweet as an icewine and they have this lemon / lime acidity that will cut through the sweetness of desserts and thus marry beautifully.

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Paul,

Do you find that to be true with Riesling icewine as well? The reason I'm not a fan of Vidal icewine is because they're often cloying. With icewine made from other varietals, Riesling in particular, the residual sugar in the wine is offset by the natural acidity.

As for Japanese people and their affinity for icewine, it's definitely true. The Summerhill LCBO in Toronto (the largest in Ontario) started putting their icewine shelf talkers in both English and Japanese.

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Somewhere in a container is a case of mixed BA and ice wine from Domdechant Werner coming to me, so you know where I put my $$'s!. I bought every bottle of his 1997 Auslese I could get my hands. Silver prize medal winner and a fabulous wine.

There is a certain segment that cares not about quality but about how 'rare' and how much it costs. A trip to Sam's Wine will quickly point that out. -Dick

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I frequently pick up a bottle or two of ice wine when passing through the duty free from visiting relatives in Canada. Price is usually around $50 CAN, which is a steal.

Although Iniskillin is the big name in ice wine, I was really disappointed in their Vidal - just like others have said, it was cloying and overly sweet. I have a bottle of Reisling from them in the basement that I'm hoping to enjoy more.

But one of the best dessert wines I've ever had was the `1999 Vidal ice wine from Reif - incredible nose of pear, light and crisp, sweet but not syrupy, perfect balance of acid and sugar. Pears and kiwi on the palate. And a finish that lasted for a good five minutes.

I've not seen it again at the duty free, but when I make it up to Niagara wine country, I'll definitely make a stop at Reif and hope their latest bottling is as good.

Tammy's Tastings

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I too think Inniskillin is vastly overrated. Thirty Bench is my benchmark for Canadian ice wine. The reisling is great with nicely balanced sugar and acid.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

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Hmmmm... :hmmm: This whole thread has been hugely informative, with only one missing component, from our point of view. We've never had an ice wine. Watched a wonderful PBS segment on German ones a million years ago, but that's as close as we've come. Is there a reasonably priced, delightful, entry level eis someone could suggest we look for, and start with? We've finally access to a pretty comprehensive wine merchant here, who just might be able to come up with what we ask for. (We're in Florida, so shipping to us is problematic, and in the Panhandle, so resources are limited. :unsure: ) I yield to the experts. (insert sweeping, old fashioned bow...) :biggrin:

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Craig,

Isn't the "fraction" here pretty darn close to 1.0? I realize that it's Decanter doing this reporting, but, as an example, II received a mailer the other week from Dee Vine Wines offering a 2001 Weingut Erben von Beulwitz Kaseler Nies'chen Eiswein for US$220 / EUR185 a half. That's just the first "high-end" eiswein I could find a price for, and I'm pretty sure that they sell for on the order of US$400. These would be auction wines, but since many (most?) of the best eisweinen are sold at auction, I don't think you can really exclude them. Just curious if you or anyone else can comment on the Decanter claim.

Walt

Walt Nissen -- Livermore, CA
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Hmmmm... :hmmm: This whole thread has been hugely informative, with only one missing component, from our point of view. We've never had an ice wine. Watched a wonderful PBS segment on German ones a million years ago, but that's as close as we've come. Is there a reasonably priced, delightful, entry level eis someone could suggest we look for, and start with? We've finally access to a pretty comprehensive wine merchant here, who just might be able to come up with what we ask for. (We're in Florida, so shipping to us is problematic, and in the Panhandle, so resources are limited. :unsure: ) I yield to the experts. (insert sweeping, old fashioned bow...) :biggrin:

2002 was a very great vintage and produced more eiswein than I've ever seen on the market at all price levels. While the best producers are always expensive, this year I was able to purchase: Weingut Bretz Beerenauslese 2002 - $8US wholesale and Eiswein - $16US wholesale. Bollig-Lehnert Trittenheimer Riesling Eiswein was $US24 wholesale.

Mark

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