Neige Premiere Ice Cider (375ML half-bottle)
The color is a golden yellow with light reflections.On the nose it is pure and clean, the aroma of freshly-picked ripe apple with striking intensity.On the palate it's a crisp, flavorful attack. A perfect balance of sugar and acidity. Perfect as an aperitif or to accompany sharp cheese (Cheddar or goat) or veined cheese (blue), and desserts. Serve chilled.
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Driven by a passionate desire to create an authentic product inspired by the bracing chill of the Québec winter, François Pouliot, a well-known film producer, helped to develop the first apple ice wine in 1994 at his boutique cidery, La Face Cachée de la Pomme (The Hidden Face of the Apple) in Hemmingford, Québec. Neige, which means snow in French, is made from the pressed juice of apples, which is concentrated as it freezes during the cold Québec winters at La Face Cachée de la Pomme.
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.
End a great meal on a sweet note, dessert and fortified wines come in an impressive array of styles and sweetness levels. Many wines in this category—including Port, Sherry, and Madeira—are fortified with neutral spirits to increase the level of alcohol, and, depending on the final style of wine desired, often to arrest fermentation while some (or a lot of) residual sugar remains. Others, like Sauternes and Tokaji, are produced by leaving the grapes on the vine long after the rest of the harvest has been processed in order to accumulate very high sugar levels. Often, a form of “noble” rot called botrytis plays a role, desiccating the grape until only the very flavorful solids and sugars remain. These late-picked wines are, accordingly, often referred to as late-harvest wines. In colder climates, the grapes may be allowed to freeze on the vine for the production of ice wine.