TNs: A couple of days in Toronto (23 short notes on Canadian wines)

Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
Post Reply
Message
Author
Cam Wheeler
Posts: 235
Joined: May 30th, 2012, 2:47 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

TNs: A couple of days in Toronto (23 short notes on Canadian wines)

#1 Post by Cam Wheeler » June 9th, 2012, 8:21 pm

I had a couple of free days in Toronto recently and I decided I should try as many Canadian wines as I could while I had the chance, the results are below. My exposure to Canadian wines and producers prior to this was very limited, so I enjoyed the opportunity to broaden my experience.

Prices are approximate pre-tax CAD retail or cellar door.

Sparkling and White

2010 Norman Hardie "County" Chardonnay (Canada, Ontario, Prince Edward County VQA) - 12% alc, 85 cases, $35

The initial impression is that of aromas of smoke and flint, with peach and lemon notes coming through as well. The palate is light, vibrant and balanced with good length, structure and some depth to it. 90/100

2010 The Organized Crime Winery Fumé Blanc (Canada, Ontario, Niagara Peninsula, Beamsville Bench VQA) - $28

Barrel fermented and aged. Melon, pineapple, ginger and a whiff of smoke. The palate is fresh and driven with good acid but also shows texture and character. Interesting wine that isn't worked into oblivion like some other barrel fermented SBs that I've tried. 90/100

2010 Tawse Riesling (Canada, Ontario, Niagara Peninsula, Twenty Mile Bench VQA) - 10.3% alc, 1000 cases, $20

Nose of graphite, apricot, wax and a slightly odd blue cheese aroma. The palate is noticeably sweet, probably in the region of 20-30 grams per litre, but there are spikes of acid out of sync throughout. This is a well regarded wine so this may have been an off sample but I did not like the bottle I tried. 80/100

2010 Fielding Estate Winery Pinot Gris Estate Bottled (Canada, Ontario, Niagara Peninsula, Niagara Peninsula VQA) - 12% alc, 10 g/l residual sugar, $22

I loved the richness with this wine. Fig, pear and nuts on the nose. The palate is delicious, there is fruit richness with corresponding acid to play off as well as a tantalising lick of residual sugar and textural interest. I found this to be quite Alsatian in style and extremely impressive overall. 92/100

2008 Hidden Bench Estate Bottled Riesling (Canada, Ontario, Niagara Peninsula, Beamsville Bench VQA) - $25

First bottle was scalped. A second sample was much better - Light nutty character, pineapple and some honey notes starting to come through despite its youth. The palate is mild, it needs a bit more zing and depth to shine, but it is still likeable. 88/100

2009 Hidden Bench Nuit Blanche Estate Bottled Rosomel Vineyard (Canada, Ontario, Niagara Peninsula, Beamsville Bench VQA) - 89.7% Sauvignon Blanc 10.3% Semillon, $40

Golden coloured. The nose opens with wax and citrus, then a line of smoke in the background. The trail of smoke continues on the palate but I found it added interest to the wine rather than overwhelming the other elements. Good acidity and carry to the finish. 91/100

2009 Hidden Bench Gewürztraminer Estate Bottled Felseck Vineyard (Canada, Ontario, Niagara Peninsula, Beamsville Bench VQA) - 14.5% alcohol, $30

Ginger and lemon on the nose with a hint of vanilla as well. Palate has good weight to it, it is rich and has a luscious, slightly oily mouthfeel. There is good acid present, but not prominent, to keep the palate from getting too overbearing. 90/100

N.V. Jackson-Triggs Proprietor's Select Sparkling Chardonnay Brut (Canada, Ontario, Niagara Peninsula, Niagara Peninsula VQA) - $11

Lemon and lime on the nose. Palate is light and without depth or interest. 82/100

2010 Charles Baker Picone Riesling (Canada, Ontario, Niagara Peninsula, Vinemount Ridge VQA) - 11.5% alc, 10 g/l residual, $35

Pale coloured. Appealing florals on the nose with some lemon and green apples coming through as well. The palate shows good length and while there is some roundness to the mouthfeel, the acid carries it well. There seems to be a pinch of residual sugar that I personally enjoy (later found to be 10 g/l). Well proportioned and drinking nicely right now. 89/100

2008 Peninsula Ridge Estates Sauvignon Blanc AJ Lepp Vineyards (Canada, Ontario, Niagara Peninsula, Niagara Peninsula VQA) - $20

Violets, rockmelon and grapefruit on the nose. Palate has a little kick from some white pepper flavour and there is actually some complexity and depth here. Medium length and good focus through a line of acidity. 89/100

2010 Fielding Estate Winery Gewürztraminer (Canada, Ontario, Niagara Peninsula, Niagara Peninsula VQA) - 12.5% alcohol, 12.5g/l residual sugar, $16

A pretty nose of rockmelon, lime and nutmeg. The palate does show some residual sweetness but there is decent acid to keep things balanced. The structure isn't present to age, but it is enjoyable now. 88/100

2009 Angels Gate Winery Riesling Sussreserve (Canada, Ontario, Niagara Peninsula, Niagara Peninsula VQA) - 11.5% alc, 22 g/l residual sugar, 3000 cases, $14

The nose is predominantly floral with peaches and pear supporting. Off-dry on the palate, very softly textured, could probably do with a bit more acid for focus. Medium length and probably best consumed now. 87/100

2008 Ganton & Larsen Prospect Winery "Council's Punch Bowl" Sauvignon Blanc (Canada, British Columbia, Okanagan Valley, Okanagan Valley VQA) - $10

Nose is light with some orange peel and tangerine. Palate is quite restrained as well, there is good acid and some light fruit but no depth. 85/100

2010 Inniskillin "Niagra Series" Pinot Grigio (Canada, Ontario, Niagara Peninsula, Niagara Peninsula VQA) - 13% alc, $13

Peach and citrus on the nose. The palate is simple, with some sweetness and one dimensional fruit. Serviceable but nothing to be excited about. 84/100


Red

2010 Norman Hardie Cabernet Franc (Canada, Ontario, Prince Edward County VQA) - 11.5% alc, $20

Cherry, tobacco, pencil shavings and light violet floral notes. Teeters on the edge of ripeness on the palate, I thought it was fine in a restrained style, but others with less tolerance for under-ripe character may not enjoy it so much. There is a certain something to the wine that kept me coming back, I did enjoy it more than the note sounds like. 88/100

2009 Norman Hardie "County" Pinot Noir (Canada, Ontario, Prince Edward County VQA) - 11.5% alc, $39

Visually it is obvious that it is unfined and unfiltered with that cloudy cherry colour like the Pinot from Bass Phillip and Pyramid Valley. The nose is earth driven with black cherry and stalks supporting. The palate is restrained with some sour cherry and more stalk character, with decent length and acidity. Still youthful, I think it will improve over the next 5 years. 90/100

2008 The Foreign Affair The Conspiracy (Canada, Ontario, Niagara Peninsula, Niagara Peninsula VQA) - Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc in a Ripasso style, $20

Blackberry, graphite and sour cherry on the nose, with a light palate that leans into green territory. There isn't a great deal of depth here but the wine does improve when consumed with food. 86/100

2008 Lailey Vineyard Meritage (Canada, Ontario, Niagara Peninsula, Niagara River VQA) - 12.5% alc, close split between Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, $25

Stalks and iron with a bit of cherry and white pepper on the nose. The palate is dominated and unbalanced by stalk character, with not enough fruit. The tannin and oak structure in the background actually seems quite good, but I can't get over the stalks. 85/100

2010 Karlo Estates Cabernet Franc (Canada, Ontario, Prince Edward County VQA) - 12% alc, $24

Aromas of nutmeg, red cherry and ground coffee. The palate is quite gamey, with savoury red cherry flavour coming through strongly. Decent tannins and balance, quite a good wine overall. 89/100

2007 Fielding Estate Winery Syrah (Canada, Ontario, Niagara Peninsula, Niagara Peninsula VQA) - 13% alc, $45

The nose is appealing and evidently cool climate, with black pepper, red cherry, graphite and some earthy notes. The palate is restrained without being thin. Balanced and textured, this was lovely. 90/100

2009 Meyer Family Vineyards Okanagan Valley Pinot Noir (Canada, British Columbia, Okanagan Valley, Okanagan Valley VQA) - 600 cases, $25

Black cherry driven nose with a splash of earth and bacon. The palate is lighter than the nose and has good focus and balance. It doesn't show the depth or length to be better than very good, but I still enjoyed it. 88/100

2009 Inniskillin Cabernet-Merlot (Canada, Ontario, Niagara Peninsula, Niagara Peninsula VQA) - 12.5% alc, $14

Blackberry and cherry on the nose. Palate is medium bodied but lacking character. 85/100


Sweet

2010 Tawse Cabernet Franc Icewine (Canada, Ontario, Niagara Peninsula, Vinemount Ridge VQA) - 10.0% alc $30 for 200 mL

Aromas of passionfruit, red cherries, plums and blueberries. Palate is extremely sweet, bordering on too sweet for my taste, without really having the acid to come in and clean it away. A small glass was nice, but I didn't feel like a second. 88/100

Tran Bronstein
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 2706
Joined: March 7th, 2011, 7:36 am

Re: TNs: A couple of days in Toronto (23 short notes on Canadian wines)

#2 Post by Tran Bronstein » June 10th, 2012, 4:28 pm

Wow. An Aussie Wine Berserker in TO. You should've let Mike Grammer and myself know. We could've gotten together. Your notes were great and nicely objective. There are some wines that are done well here in Niagara and some that are not. Regardless, we are very lucky here in TO to have quick access to our very own wine region which is improving the quality of its wine output. Great that you took the time out to try all these while you were here.
Tran's the smart one!- M Grammer

Cam Wheeler
Posts: 235
Joined: May 30th, 2012, 2:47 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: TNs: A couple of days in Toronto (23 short notes on Canadian wines)

#3 Post by Cam Wheeler » June 10th, 2012, 5:24 pm

Tran Bronstein wrote:Wow. An Aussie Wine Berserker in TO. You should've let Mike Grammer and myself know. We could've gotten together. Your notes were great and nicely objective. There are some wines that are done well here in Niagara and some that are not. Regardless, we are very lucky here in TO to have quick access to our very own wine region which is improving the quality of its wine output. Great that you took the time out to try all these while you were here.
Thanks, my wife is from ON so I'm sure to be back with some frequency, will let you guys know next time and see if we can arrange something!

User avatar
Mike Grammer
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 6142
Joined: April 27th, 2010, 7:19 am
Location: Toronto

Re: TNs: A couple of days in Toronto (23 short notes on Canadian wines)

#4 Post by Mike Grammer » June 21st, 2012, 10:10 am

hmm, yes, please do, Cam. Would love to meet you both and sigh over Sydney and all good things Oz-related. Good cross-section of wines and fine notes, thanks for sharing them.

Best,

Mike
Lived Life. With Love. Full Cup

Tran Bronstein
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 2706
Joined: March 7th, 2011, 7:36 am

Re: TNs: A couple of days in Toronto (23 short notes on Canadian wines)

#5 Post by Tran Bronstein » June 21st, 2012, 11:58 am

Of course... you must bring us Australian Port, Tawny, Muscat and Tokaji.... :)
Tran's the smart one!- M Grammer

User avatar
Tom K.
BerserkerBusiness
BerserkerBusiness
Posts: 356
Joined: October 13th, 2011, 7:11 pm
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Contact:

Re: TNs: A couple of days in Toronto (23 short notes on Canadian wines)

#6 Post by Tom K. » February 10th, 2019, 2:47 pm

I am mulling a trip up there so thanks for these tasting notes, not a ton on the board here re: Niagra wine country
Tom Kobylarz
Wine Solutions

User avatar
RichardFlack
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1069
Joined: June 4th, 2012, 10:41 pm
Location: Toronto

Re: TNs: A couple of days in Toronto (23 short notes on Canadian wines)

#7 Post by RichardFlack » February 10th, 2019, 3:02 pm

If you can, include the County too. (Eg Exultet, Long Dog, Closson Chase, Old Third etc to name but a few).

Post Reply

Return to “Wine Talk”