According to the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, it’s time to celebrate Ontario wine – you would think that message would be out every month, but nope, September is the annual push for Ontario wine by the LCBO… go figure. Our thoughtful and caring LCBO also picks this time because it messes with the wineries a little – we’re in the middle of harvest, a time when the wineries can feel short-staffed as it is and then they want winery principals to head out to local LCBO stores to flog their wines… very thoughtful.
Speaking of thoughtful, the LCBO opened three new Ontario Boutiques in September… special “boutique” areas within stores where Ontario wines are highlighted. Now you would think one of these three new Boutiques would be in a big hub like Ottawa, which is far away from wine country (the closest region would be Prince Edward County), Toronto, London, Kingston, maybe somewhere up north, so that the LCBO could bring wine country closer to your door. But where do you think the brain trust of the LCBO put these three brand new beautiful, well-stocked, full-of-Ontario-wine Boutiques? If you guessed Niagara Falls, St. Catharines and Windsor (right in the heart of wine country), you’d be correct… now why do you think that is? I’d be interested to receive your feedback.
But since we are on the topic of Ontario wine, let’s have a quick look at some of the best Ontario wines that were released in the last Vintages offering:
Daniel Lenko Gewurztraminer 2009 ($24.95 – #356832)… Aromas of rose petal, grapefruit, honey and clove lead to a similar palate which adds spiced apple and delicate floral notes and good acidity on the long finish. (****+)
Bachelder Wines Chardonnay 2011 ($29.95 – #302083)… Thomas Bachelder makes three Chardonnays from Niagara fruit, two single-vineyard offerings and this blend – declassified fruit from those very same vineyards with additional fruit from some other sources. Hardly noticeable is the 17 months of barrel age as the nose is full of pear, peach and lime while even on the palate, the fruit shines with apple and peach, along with a seam of acidity that runs right down the center side-by-side with a lovely creaminess; green apple and lime meringue make up the finish. (****)
Flat Rock Cellars Riesling 2012 ($16.95 – #043281)… A good hot vintage Riesling here, keeping all the right aromatics and the proper palate-friendly notes too. Hints of sweetness left behind on this one with sweet peach and apple on the finish and always with that good Ontario acidity to keep things fresh. Sweet green apple, floral and white peach also appear on the nose and taste. (****)
Featherstone Black Sheep Riesling 2012 ($16.695 – #080234)… Rieslings from hot vintages don’t get much better than this. The nose is apple/lime, while the palate has a lemon-lime grip on the tongue with lots of mineral and green apple tartness and a long stunning finish. (****½)
Next week, we’ll take a look at some of the reds that were released, and if you’re looking to taste some of the best Ontario has to offer, now’s the time to get your tickets for the Taste Ontario event happening October 7 in Ottawa and October 10 in Toronto. Buy your tickets here: https://kiosk.eztix.co/kiosk/15297