New in Ontario Wineries

* Order the Grand Reserve Meritage for home, office or restaurant delivery in Ontario online from Jackson-Triggs or pick up at the winery on Stone Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake.

****1/2 drink now  Oh Canada!
Jackson-Triggs ‘Grand Reserve’ Meritage 2012
VQA Niagara Peninsula $24.95 13.5% alcohol
This is rich, luscious and elegant showcasing balance and great purity of fruit. It’s a red blend of 35% Cabernet Franc, 35% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged in oak for 15 months with only the best barrels selected for this. It opens with aromas of smoky/toasty notes with red berry and roasted herbs chiming in. It flows over the palate smooth and mellow with flavours of ripe briary berry and juicy black cherry to the fore. This is medium bodied with a lingering, lip-smacking finish. Very classy, indeed. (Vic Harradine)

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Jackson-Triggs ‘Reserve’ Chardonnay Musqué - Sparkling Wine 2014
VQA Ontario $17.95 8.5% alcohol
At present, this is available only in Wine Rack stores and recently won a Gold Medal at the All Canadian Wine Championships. Produced by Méthode Cuve Close —2nd fermentation was completed in tank then immediately transferred to bottle capturing millions of frothy bubbles with refreshing flavour and acidity. A medium-sweet wash of peach, pear and grilled, sugared white grapefruit bathe the palate and infuse the finish. It’s summer in a glass and ready for sipping or pairing with fresh fruit salad. (Vic Harradine) 
• Inniskillin - The history and present success of the entire Ontario wine industry are inextricably entwined with Inniskillin Wines. Co-founders, Donald Ziraldo, and winemaker, Karl Kaiser, were granted an Ontario winery license in 1975, the first granted since prohibition—repealed in Ontario in 1927 at the same time as the formation of the LCBO. 

Inniskillin went from strength to strength via Ziraldo’s prescient vine selection and vine management regime plus his indefatigable marketing efforts, along with Kaiser’s outstanding winemaking talent. Their Inniskillin1989 Vidal icewine thrust Canada onto the world wine stage as recipient of a Grand Prix d’Honneur at Vinexpo in Bordeaux in 1991. Ziraldo was also a prime mover and founding chair of VQA—minted in 1989. 

Both Kaiser and Ziraldo retired from the day-to-day work of running Inniskillin over a decade ago. Inniskillin continues to be an exciting force in the industry with strong initiatives in both Niagara and the Okanagan Valley with two winemakers, world-renowned Bruce Nicholson and newly-appointed Derek Kontkanen, respectively, handling those reins. Their wines are consistently quality-driven, easily placing them in the top-tier of premium Ontario and B.C. wineries. The following are excellent examples of the compelling, quality proposition offered.

• Order the following selected wines - by the case for delivery to home, office or restaurant in Ontario online from Inniskillin Niagara or pick up at the winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

****1/2 drink now  Oh Canada!
Inniskillin ‘Discovery Series’ ‘Barrel-Fermented’ Sauvignon Blanc 2014
VQA Niagara Peninsula $22.95 12.5% alcohol
Seeing barely 3 months in new and seasoned oak barrel, this showcases gun flint, mineral, gooseberry and herbaceous aromas on the lifted nose. The flavour of racy lime zest mingles with green herbs and wisps of white grapefruit on the palate, mid-full bodied and gorgeously textured. It finishes in a blaze of tangy acidty—pour alongside a bowl of argula garnished with crumbled chèvre. (Vic Harradine)

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Inniskillin ‘Single Vineyard - Klose Vineyard’ Riesling 2014
VQA Niagara River $24.95 12.0% alcohol
Heady floral and honey notes meld with citrus and pit fruit aromas on the nose of this lively, juicy gem. It streaks over the plate with sweet and tang, palate-bathing flavour of ripe yellow pit fruit—plum and nectarine—interwoven with lemon yoghurt and Key lime pie filling. Balanced on a pin and simply delicious, the lingering finish is mouth-watering and refreshing. Pour with a deli platter of charcuterie and soft white cheese. (Vic Harradine)

Order the following two wines by the case for daily home, office or restaurant delivery from Kacaba Winery or pick up from the winery on King Street in Vineland ON. 

****1/2 drink now  Oh Canada!
Kacaba Cabernet / Syrah 2013 2013
VQA Niagara Escarpment $18.95 13.1% alcohol
This earned a Gold Medal at the 2015 All Canadian Wine Championships. Estate fruit was hand picked and aged 16 months in an even split of French and American oak barrel. Savory herbs and black licorice mingle with cedar and dark field berry fruit on the nose. It dishes up a balanced and beautiful, tang-laden river of ripe juicy mulberry and briary berry robed in hints of piquant, peppery spice. This is medium bodied with good mouth feel and nicely structured throughout. It finishes with good purity of fruit and plenty of charm. Pour with grilled, smoked back ribs mopped with spicy barbecue sauce. (Vic Harradine)

****1/2 drink now  Oh Canada!
Kacaba Merlot 2013
VQA Niagara Escarpment $24.95 13.4% alcohol
Hand-picked, hand-sorted fruit was cold-soaked, fermented, pressed and racked into 50% French and 50% American oak barrel for 10 months undergoing full malolactic conversion. Aromas of red berry fruit, espresso roast and smoky notes set the table for a flurry of flavour coating the palate—black plum compote and ripe, juicy black cherry interweave with spice-infused red and black currant. It’s mid weight with creamy smooth mouth feel and lengthy balanced finish. There are wisps of soft tannin framed by good acidity on the lip-smacking aftertaste. (Vic Harradine)