New in Ontario Wineries

• Order the following wine by the case for daily home, office or restaurant delivery online at Redstone Winery or pick up by the bottle or case by visiting the winery at 4245 King Street, Beamsville ON.
****1/2 drink or cellar  Oh Canada!
Redstone Syrah 2012
VQA Lincoln Lakeshore $39.95 14.0% alcohol
Opaque, inky and oh, so alluring—dark plum, black berry and licorice mingle with smoked meat, crushed peppercorns and an elusive spicy floral note. Velvety and dry, there’s a core of expressive dark fruit wrapped around a firm structure and lively acidity. This is a substantial, captivating red that brings you back for yet another sip where you’ll find lovely nuances of smoky toast, cracked black pepper and bouquet garni. There’s an impressive freshness to the texture that lasts throughout the lengthy finish. Serve with boneless leg of lamb roasted with, of course, bouquet garni. (Susan Desjardins)

• Order the following Rockway wines by the case for delivery to your home, office or restaurant from Rockway Vineyards or pick up by the bottle or case from the winery at 3290 Ninth Street, St. Catharines, Ontario.

**** drink or cellar  Oh Canada!
Rockway Vineyards ‘Reserve’ Meritage 2012

VQA Twenty Mile Bench $19.95 13.8% alcohol

A blend of the Cabernets and Merlot, the nose is rich with dark chocolate and dark fruit aromas, cedar, dried herbs and spice. Dry, medium-full bodied, round and rich on the palate, the spice shines through, notes of pepper and coffee bean garnishing savoury cassis and dried cherry flavours. Structured yet smooth, an engaging red blend that finishes dry and flavourful—a great match for rare roast beef. (Susan Desjardins)

***** drink or cellar Exceptional Value!  Oh Canada!
Rockway Vineyards ‘Wild Ferment’ Chardonnay 2014
VQA Twenty Mile Bench $22.95 alcohol 13.5% alcohol
This displays stunning purity of fruit, balance, structure and charm—huge kudos to Rockway winemaker, David Stasiuk. Hand-harvested fruit was whole-cluster pressed, racked off coarse lees into French oak barrel where fermentation and malolactic conversion were followed by 7-months oak aging with lees stirring before bottling. Aromas of baking spice and orchard fruit give way to a gorgeously textured and complex medium-bodied river of pineapple, lemon-lime and quince jelly. Pour alongside roast pork tenderloin. (Vic Harradine)

• Purchase the following wines for daily home, office or restaurant delivery directly from Small Talk Vineyards or pick up by the bottle or case from the winery at 1242 Irvine Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake.

**** drink or cellar  Oh Canada!
Small Talk ‘Dessert Anyone’ Cabernet Sauvignon Icewine 2011
VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake $35.00 11.0% (200 ml) alcohol 
A pretty salmon tone, the aromas include candied red fruit, dried cranberry, spun sugar and a whiff of dried herbs. Luscious and full on the palate, the lively red fruit shines through, vibrant acidity offering a fine frame for the tasty honeyed berry and dried fruit flavours. Persistent, lively and long on the finish, you’ll enjoy a pairing with chocolate mousse or a cranberry walnut tart. (Susan Desjardins)

**** drink now  Oh Canada!
Small Talk Vineyards ‘Recap’ Syrah 2012
VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake $24.95 (415612) 13.0% alcohol
This opens with red berry fruit, spice and cedar aromas—it spent 18 months in a mix of French and American oak, both new and seasoned. A wash of lively tang—red currant and cranberry—interwoven with cherry and wisps of cola sprint across the palate infusing the balanced finish and aftertaste. It’s medium weight with good texture and lingering, lip-smacking aftertaste. It benefits greatly from a two-hour aeration/decant. (Vic Harradine)

• The following wines are available by the case for daily home, office or restaurant delivery online at Tawse Winery or pick up by the bottle or case at the winery at 3955 Cherry Ave, Vineland ON

****1/2 drink or cellar  Oh Canada!
Tawse ‘Robyn’s Block’ Chardonnay 2012
VQA Twenty Mile Bench $45.95 13.5% alcohol
Crafted from 32-year-old vines and fermented with indigenous yeast, this gem entices with aromas of tropical fruit, braised pear, stone fruit and citrus overlaid with traces of baking spice and warm brioche. Dry and medium-full bodied, the creamy texture is satin-like across the palate, the ripe fruit lush, the spice of oak well-integrated with delicate acidity subtly in the background. The finish is round with a touch of warmth and a lingering note of citrus pith. It was created with restraint and your dinner table in mind—pour with pork, veal or chicken. (Susan Desjardins)

**** drink or cellar  Oh Canada!
Tawse ‘Tintern Vineyard’ Pinot Noir 2013
VQA Vinemount Ridge $44.95 13.0% alcohol
This introductory vintage of a newly producing vineyard was cultivated using organic and biodynamic practices. It offers remarkable intensity on the nose, displaying rich, ripe fruit aromas, sweet spice, notions of dried lavender and milk chocolate. Dry, medium bodied, it showcases wonderful harmony of well-defined tannin, lively acidity, cedary oak and rich, ripe fruit. Mineral notes add character along with nuances of tomato leaf merging with fruit flavours on the lively, lengthy finish. A notable first vintage – pick up a few bottles—there’ll be no 2014 or 2015 from the Tintern Vineyard due to the impact from harsh winters. Pour with braised chicken and dumplings. (Susan Desjardins)

****1/2 drink or cellar  Oh Canada!
Tawse ‘Cherry Ave Vineyard’ Pinot Noir 2013
VQA Twenty Mile Creek $59.95 13.0% alcohol
Descriptors like elegant, sophisticated and graceful come to mind for this perennial favourite; it’s lighter styled and quite delicious. Floral notes, baking spice and charred toast aromas garnished with red cherry/berry fruit waft from this certified, organic­/biodynamic beauty. A light­-medium-weight flow of racy red currant is balanced beautifully with kirsch liqueur and wisps of mocha bathing the palate before infusing the dry, mouth­-watering aftertaste. It’s drinking well now and on to 2019. (Vic Harradine)

**** drink or cellar  Oh Canada!
Tawse ‘Lauritzen Vineyard’ Pinot Noir 2013
VQA Vinemount Ridge $44.95 12.5% alcohol
This opens with aromas of pipe tobacco, currant and flinty/smoky notes and showcases good structure and persistent purity of fruit throughout. The hand­-harvested, organic/biodynamic­farmed grapes spent 16 months in French oak barrel. It delivers a medium­-bodied, palate-­bathing wash of tangy pie cherry and black plum mingling with racy raspberry and baking spice while the lingering finish and aftertaste manifest excellent tension and lip­-smacking, red­-fruit flavour. (VicHarradine)

• The following Tawse 2013 ‘South Bay Vineyard’ Chardonnay will be released spring 2016.

• Lauren Harper stepped off the plane returning from Europe with a bottle tucked under her arm. A customs officer eyed it suspiciously. She smiled and offered, ‘A bottle of wine; got it for Stephen.’ The officer nodded, ‘Great trade, Ma’am.’ Here’s another great trade, Tawse Winery from Niagara and Huff Estates from Prince Edward County swapped fruit in 2013. Huff gave Tawse Chardonnay from their vaunted South Bay Vineyard and Tawse sent Huff Pinot Noir from their premiere Quarry Road Vineyard—each made wine with the others’ grapes. Here’s a review of the Chardonnay Tawse made from the Prince Edward County, South Bay Vineyard fruit.

****1/2 drink or cellar  Oh Canada!
Tawse Winery ‘South Bay Vineyard’ Chardonnay 2013
VQA Prince Edward County $TBA 13.0% alcohol
Aromas of exotic spice, sandalwood and orchard fruit provide segue for a medium-weight and complex, creamy-smooth stream of lemon tang interlaced with grilled pineapple garnished with mineral notes and grapefruit pith. It’s crisp and refreshing, structured and balanced with a lingering finish that’s lip-smacking good. This was barrel fermented, inoculated with indigenous yeast, aged 12 months in French oak barrel, 25% new. Great now, even better popping corks 2017 and poured with pan-seared tuna or grilled black Cod. (Vic Harradine)