Niagara on the Lake
Tasted Friday, November 29, 2013 by MC2 Wines with 165 views
Following a very successful Napa trip in September, we decided to continue the Kovacs wine tripping experience with a day visit to Niagara on the Lake after the Thanksgiving holiday. Got some wonderful suggestions from folks on the board and some of our own secondary research and decided to do an ice-wine focused trip which included Inniskillin, Ravine (with lunch), Jackson-Triggs, and Stratus. New introduction for us as we've had a few of the ice wines in the past, but never in a back-to-back tasting comparison.
We made reservations for a 10 am Ice Wine Experience at Inniskillin which included a tour of the property, viewing the grapes on the vine, and a mini video as well of course as an actual tasting. Officially, it's four wines, but I added the 2012 Cabernet Franc Sparkling as it seemed to fit better with the newer releases although that ended up being a tasty bonus. In this first set I think the sparklers stood out from the group although there was a divide btwn those more prone to the Vidal and those more to the Cabernet Franc.
After we did the official wine experience, we decided to see what it's like to get some ice wine with some age. While the newer ones are all nice and fresh and certainly tasty, a bit of age really did create a much more enjoyable experience (esp in terms of the complexity of the wine).
We stopped for lunch at Ravine which had ones of the best butternut squash soups I've ever tried. In addition we ordered a few wines with lunch and then stopped by the tasting room to try a few more before we headed out to the next stop.
Part of the Constellation wine family with also includes Inniskillin this was the other winery we found in our CT search of top wines in Canada. Great tasting through some of the more interesting parts of their portfolio (e.g. sparkling merlot) as well as the ice wines.
This was recommended at one of the earlier wineries and one of the places we had on our list anyway so we decided to end the day here. A bit less sweet than some of the others, but was impressed with the wines across the portfolio (including the red).
Winner of the day for most of us was Stratus (a bit of a dark horse given Inniskillin's relative notoriety and fame), but I think we appreciated a slightly more restrained ice wine that let the fruit through a bit more. No bad choices in the bunch (except for maybe some of the reds), and overall a resounding success.