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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
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    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 finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).

    In the Glass

    Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.

    Perfect Pairings

    Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

    Sommelier Secret

    For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Villages or Cru level wines.

    YNG125524_1998 Item# 53622