On the Road with the Grape Guy

On the Road with the Grape Guy is a on-going feature that follows me from event to event ... I post my thoughts, feelings and reviews of what happened and what I tasted ... basically it is here that I review the events I attend and the things that thrilled me.

Tasting at the All Canadians 2018

21 Sep 2018

 

So in June the All Canadian Wine Championships takes place in Prince Edward County; 20+ judges join in to taste some 1200+ wines from across Canada to pass judgement and dole out some awards … During that tasting, which is done blind, I take an excessive amount of notes, especially when I taste a wine I’m enthralled with … below is a list of this year’s winners (in my opinion) from the panels I tasted on and of the wines I tasted … you will notice all are from British Columbia – because the Ontario wines will appear on my website in another format (Newsletter / e-blast / etc.)

Rosé …

What an outstanding category this year, I have not seen and tasted this much delicious Rosé being produced since … probably ever – the Ontario output I have previously made mention of, including Three of Hearts and Pondview (my early 'best of' can be found in this newsletter), but here are some of those British Columbia rosés that really hit the mark:

Arrowleaf Cellars 2017 Rosé ... (*** ½+)
Bottega Wine Studio 2017 Pinot Noir Rosé, Seven Directions ... (*** ½+)
CedarCreek 2017 Pinot Noir Rosé, Platinum Block 1 ... (****)
Corcelettes Estate 2017 Oracle ... (****)
Nk’Mip Cellars 2017 Rosé, Winemakers Series ... (*** ½+)
Whispering Horse 2017 Pinot Gris Rosé ... (****)


Merlot …

Once a mainstay of British Columbia wines it now seems to be taking a backseat to sexier varieties like Syrah – but hold the phone, BC still makes some beautiful Merlot and here are a few I can use to back that statement up:

Black Sage Vineyard 2015 Merlot ... (****)
Blasted Church 2015 Merlot ... (****+)
Cassini Cellars 2014 Merlot, Nobilus ... (*** ½+)
CC Jentsch Cellars 2015 Merlot, Small Lot ... (*** ½+)
CedarCreek 2015 Merlot Estate ... (****)
Corcelettes Estate 2015 Merlot ... (****)
Deep Roots 2016 Merlot ... (*** ½+)
Dirty Laundry 2015 Merlot ... (*** ½+)
Jackson-Triggs Okanagan 2015 Merlot, Grand Reserve ... (****)
Kraze Legs 2014 Merlot, Skaha Vineyard ... (*** ½+)
Mission Hill 2015 Merlot Reserve ... (****)
River Stone 2015 Merlot ... (****)
Wild Goose 2016 Merlot ... (****+)


Viognier …

Is it still polite to call Viognier an up-and-coming grape variety even though both Ontario and British Columbia have been playing around with the grape from some time now? The good news is it seems to have made a splash here in Canada and while not widely planted and used, both provinces have been making interesting wines from it … here’s hoping more jump on the bandwagon:

Back Door Winery 2016 Viognier ... (*** ½)
BC Wine Studio 2016 Viognier, Siren’s Call ... (*** ½+)
Blasted Church 2017 Viognier ... (****)
Desert Hills 2017 Viognier ... (*** ½)
Indigenous World Winery 2016 Viognier ... (*** ½)
Kismet Estate 2017 Viognier ... (*** ½)
Lang Vineyards 2017 Viognier ... (*** ½+)
Moraine Estate 2017 Viognier ... (***+)
Time Winery 2017 Viognier ... (****)
Volcanic Hills 2016 Viognier ... (*** ½+)


Syrah …

From what I’ve tasted Syrah has a very bright future in British Columbia, something that no one was thinking a decade ago, but with so many good versions being made in the province it can now be said quite firmly and with conviction – I tasted a grand total of 20 and most could have made this list, I pared it down to a top 6:

Black Sage Vineyard 2015 Shiraz ... (****)
Deep Roots 2016 Syrah ... (****)
Kismet Estate 2016 Syrah ... (****)
Moon Curser 2016 Syrah ... (**** ½)
Orofino Winery 2016 Syrah, Scout Vineyard ... (****)
See Ya Later Ranch 2015 Rover ... (****)


Bordeaux Blends …

Long a staple of any emerging wine region – the art of the blend is both a necessity in the bad-years and a blessing in the good ones … it’s a way to hide the unripe grapes, and make a good wine better and a better wine great. Getting it right can be difficult but when it’s done right the wines can be magical, bordering on sublime.

Blasted Church 2015 Nothing Sacred ... (*** ½+)
Corcelettes Estate 2015 Meritage ... (****)
Jackson-Triggs 2015 Meritage, Sunrock Vineyard ... (*** ½+)
Nk’mip Cellars 2015 Meritage, Merriym Red ... (*** ½+)
Orofino Winery 2015 Beleza ... (****+)
Ruby Blues 2015 Merlot / Cabernet Sauvignon ... (*** ½)
Single Tree Winery 2014 Harness ... (*** ½)
Stag’s Hollow 2015 Meritage, Renaissance ... (*** ½+)
Township 7 Vineyards 2015 Reserve 7 ... (****+)


A Smattering of Other Wines …

Whispering Horse 2017 L’Acadie ... (*** ½+)
Gehringer Bros Estate 2017 Sauvignon Blanc, Dry Rock ... (*** ½+)
Privato Vineyard 2014 Pinot Noir Grande Reserve ... (*** ½+)

 

And to find out more about the All Canadian Wine Championships click here

 

 

Ontario Wine Reviews: 92 Wines from 35 Wineries

17 Sep 2018

Not all reviews make the newsletter, there's just so many good wines and not enough space ... so every three to six months (or so) I clear out the backlog of wines ... here are the reviews that were written but until now have never seen the light of day.  (click on the wine name to link to the full review)

Niagara Escarpment

13th Street 2016 Cabernet-Merlot
13th Street 2017 Pinot Gris, Creek Shores

Angels Gate 2016 Pinot Gris
Angels Gate 2016 Sauvignon Blanc
Angels Gate 2016 Shine

Featherstone 2016 Cuvee Joy Rosé
Featherstone 2017 Sauvignon Blanc

Fielding 2015 Pinot Noir, Lowrey Vineyard
Fielding 2016 Rock Pile Red

Flat Rock Cellars 2015 Chardonnay, Rusty Shed

Henry of Pelham 2015 Family Tree White
Henry of Pelham 2016 Chardonnay
Henry of Pelham 2016 Family Tree White
Henry of Pelham 2016 Riesling, Speck Family Reserve
Henry of Pelham 2016 Sauvignon Blanc
Henry of Pelham 2016 Sibling Rivalry Red
Henry of Pelham 2017 Pinot Grigio
Henry of Pelham 2017 Pinot Noir
Henry of Pelham 2017 Riesling
Henry of Pelham 2017 Riesling, Estate
Henry of Pelham 2017 Rosé

Hidden Bench 2017 Rosé, Locust Lane

Honsberger 2017 Riesling

Kacaba 2016 Chardonnay, Oak Aged
Kacaba 2017 Pinot Gris, Jennifer’s
Kacaba 2017 Rosé, Rebecca
Kacaba 2017 Sauvignon Blanc, Susan’s

KEW Vineyards 2013 Tradition
KEW Vineyards 2015 Chardonnay, Old Vines

Leaning Post 2015 Pinot Noir
Leaning Post 2017 Sauvignon Blanc

London Born 2016 Pinot Blanc, South Kensington

Malivoire NV Bisous Brut (2018)
Malivoire 2017 Melon
Malivoire 2017 Rosé, Ladybug
Malivoire 2017 Rosé, Moira

Megalomaniac NV Bubblehead (2018)
Megalomaniac 2016 Riesling, Grounded
Megalomaniac 2017 Personality
Megalomaniacs 2017 Riesling, Narcissist
Megalomaniac 2017 Sauvignon Blanc, Savvy
Megalomaniac 2017 Savagnin, Eccentric

Organized Crime 2017 Sauvignon Blanc
Organized Crime 2017 The Mischief

Domaine Queylus 2015 Chardonnay Tradition
Domaine Queylus 2015 Chardonnay Tradition
Domaine Queylus 2015 Pinot Noir, Signature
Domaine Queylus 2015 Sept Terroir

Redstone 2016 Viognier, Redfoot Vineyard

Tawse 2013 Cabernet Franc, Redfoot Vineyard
Tawse 2016 Riesling, Carly’s Block
Tawse 2017 Chardonnay Unoaked

The Farm 2015 Pinot Noir, Black Label

Thirty Bench NV Riesling, Sparkling
Thirty Bench 2015 Merlot, Small Lot
Thirty Bench 2015 Pinot Noir, Small Lot
Thirty Bench 2016 Riesling, Steel Post
Thirty Bench 2016 Riesling, Wild Cask
Thirty Bench 2016 Riesling, Winemaker’s Blend
Thirty Bench 2016 Riesling, Wood Post


Niagara-on-the-Lake

Chateau des Charmes 2016 Pinot Noir Estate
Chateau des Charmes 2017 Sauvignon Blanc

Five Rows 2017 Riesling
Five Rows 2017 Sauvignon Blanc

Pondview 2016 Viognier
Pondview 2017 Chardonnay Sur Lie
Pondview 2017 Vidal, Lot 74 Sparkling
Pondview 2017 Skipping Stone

Reif Estate 2014 Cabernet Franc, Cherry Wood

Stratus 2017 Sauvignon Blanc / Semillon, Tollgate


Prince Edward County

Closson Chase 2017 Mosaic

Hinterland 2017 Ancestral
Hinterland 2017 Whitecap

Huff Estates 2015 Cuvee Peter F. Huff
Huff Estates 2015 Merlot, South Bay Vineyard
Huff Estates 2017 Pinot Gris
Huff Estates 2017 Rosé
Huff Estates 2017 Chardonnay Unoaked

Keint-he 2014 Pinot Noir, Greer Road
Keint-he 2016 Pinot Gris
Keint-he 2016 Riesling, Voyageur
Keint-he 2017 Arrow-Matic White
Keint-he 2017 Rosé, Portage

Lighthall 2016 Pinot Noir
Lighthall 2017 Progressive
Lighthall 2017 The Fence

Rosehall Run 2016 Certain Ratio
Rosehall Run 2016 Riesling, Acid Head

Sandbanks 2016 Cabernet-Merlot, Shoreline

Stanners 2016 Pinot Noir


Other Regions

Alton Farms 2015 Cabernet Franc

Holland Marsh Wineries 2016 Merlot Reserve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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