Location: Whitby, Ontario, Canada

Born in Malta but in Canada since age 5. Has written three books and presently does several columns about wine and food for various magazines.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Inniskillin Does It Again!

Inniskillin Winery
It never fails to amaze me that Inniskillin, Canada's first winery since Prohibition, keeps on appearing and reappearing with new and excellent products. One of the main reasons of course is the winemakers that Inniskillin has had during the years. Karl Kaiser "broke the mould" when he began his role as winemaker. Those that followed him kept up the fine tradition.
Bruce Nicholson is the most recent person to sit in the winemaker's chair----coming from British Columbia's rendition of Inniskillin where he was the subject of many awards and accolades.
Bruce did not waste any time putting his personal and talented touch to his new home.
Bruce began producing a series of wines to fit all tastes and pocketbooks. His "Core Series" continued the great tradition of Varietal and Reserve wines with products true to their character and the terroir of the area. His "Winemaker's Series" truly showed his talent for recognizing the premium characteristics of various vineyards and producing superior single vineyard and/or blended wines depending on the impression he got from each separately fermented lot.
One of his crowning achievements is his "Legacy Series" which bears his signature. Top varietals from the very best lots of the vintage are picked and carefully vinified. If one were to just believe in labels, the gold label on each bottle would say it all. I was amazed at the sheer concentration and depth of each Legacy I tasted.
East/West Series
As if the above was not enough, Bruce has come up with yet another series that has completely blown me away! The East/West Series features the best of Niagara blended with the best of the Okanagan. Having had the pleasure of visiting the area I know that great wine is made in the Okanagan. Bruce and Okanagan winemaker, Sandor Maver have joined together to produce some truly phenomenal wine. Here is my description of each wine!
2009 Riesling-Gewurztraminer
Nose: Strong spice introduces the Gewurztraminer on the nose with floral/citrus additions from the Riesling.
Palate: Nice mouth feel with refreshing acidity. White fruit/some peach with citrus on the finish.
2008 Merlot-Cabernet
Nose: Black Fruit (Cherry, Blackberry, Plum), pepper and clove spice with cocoa aromas.
Palate: Full and round in body, integrated with pleasant yet lingering tannins. Very lengthy finish indicating years of life! Open this wine at least four hours prior to drinking. It worth every extra minute of wait.
2008 Cabernet-Shiraz
Nose: Violet, cherry and pepper with strong cocoa nuances.
Palate: Full in body, pleasant mouth feel with excellent integration. Soft tannins can hold up to food challenges if needed. Again a long finish though not as powerful as the previous wine. In actual fact, I should have tasted this wine prior. Again I would recommend some breathing time prior to serving and thus releasing more complex aromas.

What can I say. I can only use this as an example of the quality that was tasted here. My next door neighbour came over and I served her a glass of the Cab-Shiraz. Next day she went to the nearest Wine Rack and purchased several bottles. Knowing that she is thrifty, I was amazed that she purchased three bottles at $17.95.
Ya can't beat that for a recommendation!