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Niagara Wineries


Gul_Dekar
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I also noted that the Peninsula Ridge Estates 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve also tasted unusually acidic and very odd on the palate and much preferred the 2001 vintage despite the less than ideal growing conditions for the year as I was told.

You were told wrongly!

In fact 2001 was the hottest year since 1998 (and Niagara usually makes better reds in hot years).

The problem was that 2001 was the 'invasion of the ladybugs' and many wines were tainted because of mechanical harvesting that scared the hormones out of the ladybugs. A similar invasion occurred in 2003 but fewer wines were tainted in that year. But the taint means that virtually all 2001's are unmarketable because of the 'stupidity' (my word; the alternative would be ignorance) of the wineries who nevertheless released these wines - many, if not most, with VQA designations - thereby potentially destroying the industry. This was further exacerbated by the LCBO selling these wines - so much for their vaunted tasting panel. I've also heard that eventually the LCBO blacklisted all the 2001's - even those with no taint (and there were many) cannot get a listing.

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I also noted that the Peninsula Ridge Estates 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve also tasted unusually acidic and very odd on the palate and much preferred the 2001 vintage despite the less than ideal growing conditions for the year as I was told.

You were told wrongly!

In fact 2001 was the hottest year since 1998 (and Niagara usually makes better reds in hot years).

The problem was that 2001 was the 'invasion of the ladybugs' and many wines were tainted because of mechanical harvesting that scared the hormones out of the ladybugs. A similar invasion occurred in 2003 but fewer wines were tainted in that year. But the taint means that virtually all 2001's are unmarketable because of the 'stupidity' (my word; the alternative would be ignorance) of the wineries who nevertheless released these wines - many, if not most, with VQA designations - thereby potentially destroying the industry. This was further exacerbated by the LCBO selling these wines - so much for their vaunted tasting panel. I've also heard that eventually the LCBO blacklisted all the 2001's - even those with no taint (and there were many) cannot get a listing.

That must have been what he was getting at. I did recall hearing about that. Thanks.

Edited by mkjr (log)

officially left egullet....

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Reporting back on my trip 2 weeks ago. First went to Vineland where I mostly got white table wine, nothing fancy. Went to Tawse where the tasting fees were pretty steep. ALso went to Featherstone to try the Gewurstraminer, quite refreshing and not as explosive as the varietal noramally suggests. ALso stopped at Cave Springs for an amazingly fresh, crispy and fruity Riesling.

On saturday, made a stop for pinot noir at Coyote's Run and also stopped at Château des Charmes where I bought late harvest riesling and the Equleus blend, quite surprising. Stopped at Hillebrand to look at the restaurant's menu and ended tasting an amazing chardonnay, rich and creamy tasting like fresh churned butter and butterscotch. Also tried an amazingly smoky Cab Franc which I usually don't like on it's own. Was not impressed by Lailey to be honest.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Stopped at Hillebrand to look at the restaurant's menu and ended tasting an amazing chardonnay, rich and creamy tasting like fresh churned butter and butterscotch.

Did you end up dining at Hillebrand?

If so, how was it?

I was thinking of stopping in at 2 or 3 icewine producers (recommendations welcomed), and doing lunch at Hillebrand, and would be interested in feedback.

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We didn't eat there but the menu seemed interesting. We elected to go to Zee's instead where the food was excellent. It's on Queen Street near the Shaw festival theatre.

As for icewine, Iniskillin is a must go as they are the pioneers. I'd say Pilliterri and maybe Hillebrand but some people might have better reccos as I'm not crazy about the stuff though I had a very good cabernet icewine from Konzelmann.

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  • 3 months later...

I went to Flat Rock a few weeks back and also to Tawse (after I passed at the tasting price the first time around).

Flat Rock's facility is outstanding with an amazing view. The very well designed gravity facility should be set up to make good Pinot Noir....now if only the weather could co-operate. The two Pinot's they were pouring did have great varietal flavour but I think the concentration could have been better. I think they noted the yeilds were close to 2 tonnes per acre but I think they may need to get down to around 1 to get some good concentration - I would pay double for the bottle in this case. I could be wrong though

I also went to Tawse and they too have an outstanding facility. They were sold out of the Pinot Noir but I tried the two Chardonnay's they had in the 2002 and 2003 vintages. I liked the 2002 “Beamsville Bench” Chardonnay better in 02 but thought the 2003 “Robyn’s Block” Estate Chardonnay was the best one. I rarely will shell out dough on Ontario wine but I caved since this bottle was so good I paid the $48.00 (Ouch). I am going to taste it blind on day against some Peter Michael Chardonnay and see my my friends think when I am back in Vancouver for the holidays.

Both places are worth a visit.

officially left egullet....

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  • 1 year later...
Will be making an Ice wine run and would be interested in any good places for Saturday lunch. I usually stop at Inn on the Twenty which is always good but was hoping to switch it up a little

Thanks

I'll ask around when I'm out there for work later today.

What icewines will you be considering?

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Will be making an Ice wine run and would be interested in any good places for Saturday lunch. I usually stop at Inn on the Twenty which is always good but was hoping to switch it up a little

Thanks

I'll ask around when I'm out there for work later today.

What icewines will you be considering?

Probably Stratus, Cave Spring, Inniskillin, and Jackson Triggs for those handy 187mls. Still making an agenda

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Will be making an Ice wine run and would be interested in any good places for Saturday lunch. I usually stop at Inn on the Twenty which is always good but was hoping to switch it up a little

Thanks

I'll ask around when I'm out there for work later today.

What icewines will you be considering?

Probably Stratus, Cave Spring, Inniskillin, and Jackson Triggs for those handy 187mls. Still making an agenda

Don't forget Thirty Bench, which to my palate makes as great a Niagara peninsula ice wine as I've had. Inniskillin is not bad, but to my taste unbalanced and overpriced.

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

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Will be making an Ice wine run and would be interested in any good places for Saturday lunch. I usually stop at Inn on the Twenty which is always good but was hoping to switch it up a little

Thanks

I'll ask around when I'm out there for work later today.

What icewines will you be considering?

Probably Stratus, Cave Spring, Inniskillin, and Jackson Triggs for those handy 187mls. Still making an agenda

Don't forget Thirty Bench, which to my palate makes as great a Niagara peninsula ice wine as I've had. Inniskillin is not bad, but to my taste unbalanced and overpriced.

I agree, Thirty Bench I have in my cellar and the Inniskillin is for someone. Maybe a detour to Tawse as well depending on my time and budget.

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Ok, I have collected recommendations for lunch.

Vinelands Estate Wineries in Vineland. Dell in Beamsville (used to be East Dell Estates), Dom's in downtown St Catherines, Treadwells in Port Dalhousie, Zuma Zuma Cafe (right across from On the Twenty) - good food and apparently has particularly good coffee, About Time Bistro on Hwy 8 in Vineland - great food, not pretentious. Last suggestion was the Edgewater - which is in Stoney Creek, a bit out of your way - but always a good meal.

I eliminated a couple where some folks have had a good meal, but others have been disappointed - those include the Lake House in Jordan and Peninsula Ridge Winery (and my cousin Norman owns this one).

For icewine I really like the Vidal Icewine from Chateau des Charmes. And just about any wine they make at Konzelman.

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Ok, I have collected recommendations for lunch.

Vinelands Estate Wineries in Vineland.  Dell in Beamsville (used to be East Dell Estates), Dom's in downtown St Catherines, Treadwells in Port Dalhousie,  Zuma Zuma Cafe (right across from On the Twenty) - good food and apparently has particularly good coffee, About Time Bistro on Hwy 8 in Vineland - great food, not pretentious.  Last suggestion was the Edgewater - which is in Stoney Creek, a bit out of your way - but always a good meal.

I eliminated a couple where some folks have had a good meal, but others have been disappointed - those include the Lake House in Jordan and Peninsula Ridge Winery (and my cousin Norman owns this one). 

For icewine I really like the Vidal Icewine from Chateau des Charmes.  And just about any wine they make at Konzelman.

I forgot about Vineland - haven't thought abuot it since Mark Piccone's departure. Thanks for the info. Maybe dinner at the Oban with Tony DeLuca if I run late.

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