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Inniskillin Founder's Reserve Pinot Noir 1998

Pinot Noir from Canada
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    Winemaker Notes

    The selection of Reserve designated grapes is one based entirely on the overall quality and maturity of the fruit at the time of harvest. For this bottling, the highest quality Pinot Noir was assembled from several different vineyards in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The wine was fermented 14 days on the skins before pressing and aged for 14 months in 225L French oak barrels. "This wine showcases a ruby-garnet hue and is extremely welcoming on the nose. Featuring a floral aroma of violets enhanced with sweet toastiness, spiced bing cherries and a slight earthiness. The mouth feel of upfront ripe tannins is complimented by characteristics of cherries, toast and spice. Well-rounded and smooth. Food Suggestions include wild mushroom dishes, venison, rare red meats, duck, ostrich, veal, lamb, salmon and roasted meats."

    Critical Acclaim

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    Inniskillin

    Inniskillin

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    Inniskillin, Canada
    Image of winery
    Austrian-born and monastically educated, Karl J. Kaiser, and native Canadian Donald J.P. Ziraldo, a decendant of a family of winegrowers in Northern Italy, founded Innisklillin Wines on July 31, 1975, obtaining the first winery license granted in the province of Ontario since 1929. Located in Niagara-on-the-Lake at the historic Brae Burn Estate, Inniskillin was founded upon and is dedicated to the principle of producing outstanding wines from vinifera wine grapes grown in the Niagara Peninsula. Karl and Donald tirelessly tested the new ground of Niagara, grafting old-world wisdom in the new-world terroir. Inniskillin rocketed to international notoriety when its pioneering 1989 Vidal Icewine was awarded the Grand Prix d'Honneur at Vinexpo 1991, and drew worldwide attention to Canada's burgeoning wine industry.

    What is Icewine?
    VQA Icewine is a highly concentrated dessert wine made by harvesting grapes naturally frozen on the vine at -10 C in December-January. Inniskillin VQA Icewine is internationally awarded and recognized and is exported throughout the world.

    With a cool climate suitable for more than just icewine production, Canada is also home to excellent dry still and sparkling wines. Most viticulture is based in Ontario on the east coast and British Columbia on the west coast. Because of the high risk of winter freeze and spring frost, plantings are typically centered on large bodies of water to take advantage of their temperature moderating effects.

    In Ontario, particularly on the Niagara Peninsula, aromatic white varieties like Riesling and Gewürztraminer are most successful, often with racy acidity and citrus notes. Many wineries produce both dry and semi-dry versions. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Gamay, and Cabernet Franc perform nicely here as well. For icewine, French-American hybrid variety Vidal is popular. In British Columbia, many of the same grapes are grown, but there is also a significant emphasis on Bordeaux varieties—especially Merlot.

    Pinot Noir

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    One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

    In the Glass

    Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

    Perfect Pairings

    Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

    Sommelier Secret

    Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

    YNG125524_1998 Item# 53622