PL Award 1: GOLD - SWA 2016
Country: Canada Region: Ontario Vintage: 2014
Varietal: Riesling Category: Sweet White Color: White
"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 grapes for this classic Icewine were harvested from select vineyards in Niagara on the Lake. The Niagara Peninsula is considered a cool climate viticulture region. Mineral-rich soils are the result of melting glaciers that left behind large and varied deposits of gravel, sand and clay, when 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.
"Picked at a chilling -10ºC, the grapes were immediately
pressed resulting in a rich concentrated liquid. The juice was concentrated through the removal of ice crystals and separation from the frozen grapes during pressing. After cold settling the juice was racked and fermented at approximately 15ºC for 18 days. The Riesling was fermented in stainless steel, with no oak influence. The wine was ready to drink after a short bottle ageing.
"This Riesling Icewine has an abundance of vibrant aromatics including peach, pear, and lime. On the palate, notes of honey, apricot and mango are balanced by a crisp and lively acidity.
Food Suggestion: An ideal match for blue-veined cheeses with lavender honey, firm aged chedder, paté with pear or peach chutney, seared scallops with apple celery slaw or classic baked apples.
Closure: Natural Cork ABV:9.5% Acidity [g/l]: 12.74 Classification: VQA