Inniskillin Riesling Icewine (375ML half-bottle) 2017
Pair with brie with lavender honey, firm aged cheddar, your favorite pate with pear or peach chutney, seared scallops with apple celery slaw, or classic baked apples.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2017 Riesling Ice Wine comes in with 268 grams or residual sugar, 9.98 of total acidity and a pH of 3.29. The price applies to a half bottle. Firmer on the finish and showing a lot more tension (which is only a relative term with these wines), this would easily be my pick of the stickies this issue. It's more powerful, more tightly wound and a little fresher. The finish is longer. The Vidals on their own are terrific, but this just seems to add a little something extra. That finish, of course, is delectable and succulent.
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. 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.
Apart from the classics, we find many regional gems of different styles.
Late harvest wines are probably the easiest to understand. Grapes are picked so late that the sugars build up and residual sugar remains after the fermentation process. Ice wine, a style founded in Germany and there referred to as eiswein, is an extreme late harvest wine, produced from grapes frozen on the vine, and pressed while still frozen, resulting in a higher concentration of sugar. It is becoming a specialty of Canada as well, where it takes on the English name of ice wine.
Vin Santo, literally “holy wine,” is a Tuscan sweet wine made from drying the local white grapes Trebbiano Toscano and Malvasia in the winery and not pressing until somewhere between November and March.