PL Award 1: Silver - DWWA 2017
Country: Canada Region: Ontario Vintage: 2014
Category: Sweet Red Color: Red
"These are the wines that have put Canadian icewine on the map. Established in 1975 by Austrian chemist Karl Kaiser and Italian-Canadian agriculture graduate Donald Ziraldo, Inniskillin is now synonymous with top quality icewine, a fact underlined by the numerous awards they have won. Following Kaiser’s retirement in 2006, Bruce Nicholson joined Inniskillin in Niagara as senior winemaker. Born and raised in the Niagara Peninsula, Bruce sits on the technical committee of the Vintners’ Quality Alliance in Ontario (VQA) and the committee for Sustainable Winemaking of the Wine Council of Ontario. Bruce has become Canada’s most awarded winemaker, including notable awards from VinItaly (Gran Premio) and UK based IWSC and Decanter World Wine awards for his icewines, in addition to being twice named Top Winemaker at the San Francisco International Wine Challenge.
The harvest of the precious icewine grapes cannot begin until temperatures drop below -8°C for a sustained period of time. Inniskillin does not pick at temperatures warmer than -10°C, which reduces yields and increases quality; the frozen clusters are often harvested in the dead of night. The grapes are pressed immediately while their water content is frozen in crystals, leaving only a few coveted drops of concentrated, intense liquid, which is then fermented slowly over the following months to become icewine.
Inniskillin consistently sets the bar much higher than its competitors. Although the VQA sets the minimum Brix level at harvest at 35 degrees, Inniskillin generally harvests at between 40 and 42 degrees while, instead of a minimum of 18% of residual sugar, Inniskillin’s wines have between 22-28%. As a result, the wines are richer, more intense and merit their higher price."
Winemaker: Bruce Nicholson
The Cabernet Franc grapes are harvested from selected vineyards in Niagara on the Lake. The Niagara Peninsula is considered a cool climate viticulture region and the mineral-rich soils are the result of melting glaciers that left behind large and varied deposits of gravel, sand and clay, as they receded approximately 13,000 years ago. Thanks to the warming influence of Lake Ontario and the Niagara River, the region's temperatures during the fruit ripening phase are moderate and consistent.
"The grapes for the 2014 Cabernet Franc Icewine were harvested at a freezing cold -10ºC temperatures and were pressed immediately after picking. After cold settling, the juice was racked and innoculated using a specially selected strain of yeast. The wine was fermented in stainless steel tanks for 19 days at an average temperature of 15ºC before being bottled."
An abundance of rich red fruit aromas on the nose and palate including raspberries and rhubarb, strawberries and fresh cream. This decadent Icewine boasts a lingering finish and a perfectly balanced acidity.
Food Suggestion: "This red Icewine has traditionally been paired with dark chocolate and chocolate based desserts. Combine the chocolate with red, fruit-based desserts and you have a great wine and culinary match."
Closure: Natural Cork ABV:9.5% Acidity [g/l]: 10.29