New in Ontario Wineries

• Order the following Rockway wines by the case for delivery to your home, office or restaurant from Rockway Vineyardsalong with wines found in the previous, January 7, 2016 newsletter 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 ‘Small Lot Block 12-140’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

VQA Twenty Mile Bench $22.95 13.5% alcohol

Deep ruby, this wine beckons with a totally alluring whiff of chocolate, ripe berries and sweet spice, grilled almonds and dried herb aromas. Dry, medium-full bodied, firmly structured with perceptible tannin and a lively fresh texture, there are loads of raspberry and black berry fruit on the palate, notes of pepper, coffee and that elusive hint of chocolate lingering on a savoury, fresh finish. It’s a great candidate for cellaring or paired with rare roast beef. (Susan Desjardins)

****1/2 drink or cellar Oh Canada!
Rockway Vineyards ‘Wild Ferment’ Red 2012

VQA Twenty Mile Bench $29.95 13.5% alcohol

Captivating aromas lift from the glass—tobacco, pepper, clove, concentrated berry and plum. This is an even-split blend of Syrah, Merlot and the Cabernets. It offers an elegant balance of firm tannin, fresh acidity and intense flavour—berries, black cherry and plum. There’s minerality, toasty notes of oak and a touch of bitter chocolate on the palate. Complex, dry and medium-full bodied, it’s full of character—a wine to savour as it evolves in the glass, on the palate and in the cellar. (Susan Desjardins)

****1/2 drink or cellar Oh Canada!
Rockway Vineyards ‘Small Lot Block 12-140’ Syrah 2012
VQA Twenty Mile Bench $29.95 alcohol 13.5% alcohol
An almost perfect ‘Syrah vintage’ produced low-yielding, concentrated fruit that blossomed into this limited-production, thing of beauty. Aromas of grilled herbs, tobacco leaf and red berry fruit provide segue for a nicely balanced, medium-weight flow of black cherry and red currant interwoven with charred toast and a lingering note of cola. The oak’s well integrated and tannin is ripe and supple while the finish is delicious. It’s drinking well now and will on to 2019. (Vic Harradine)

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Rockway Vineyards ‘Red Assemblage’ 2013
VQA Twenty Mile Bench $17.95 alcohol 13.5% alcohol
This red blend—54% Cabernet Franc, 31% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon—spent 18 months oak-barrel aging. Aromas of wood smoke, earthy notes and dark berry fruit herald juicy red currant and ripe strawberry rolling over the palate with wisps of mixed spice and passion fruit. It’s mid weight with good mouth feel and a dry, mouth-watering finish and aftertaste. Pour with hearty game stew, osso bucco or cassoulet. There’s solid fruit flavour, balance and good value here. (Vic Harradine)

• Purchase the following three Small Talk wines for daily home, office or restaurant delivery directly from Small Talk Vineyards along with wines found in the previous, January 7, 2016 newsletter or pick up from the winery by the bottle or case at 1242 Irvine Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake.

***1/2 drink now Oh Canada!
Small Talk ‘Burning Ambition’ Riesling 2013
VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake $16.95 13.0% alcohol
A quartet of aromas—mineral and citrus, tree fruit and white flowers—offer a pleasant introduction to this lively Riesling. Light-medium bodied, off-dry and tangy with flavours of grapefruit, citrus pith, green apple and mineral, this has soft texture paired with a nice level of clean acidity. The roundness of the fruit carries through on the finish as does that slightly bitter pithy note. It’s a good wine to pair with soft cheese or pan-fried pickerel under a squirt of fresh lemon. (Susan Desjardins)

***1/2 drink now Oh Canada!
Small Talk ‘Conversation’ Pinot Noir 2013
VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake $19.95 12.5% alcohol
Garnet in hue, earthy on the nose, this cool climate-styled Pinot offers notions of beetroot, red fruit, spice and cedar. Dry, on the light side of medium bodied, there’s freshness and brightness to the texture, subtle tannin to frame the tasty cherry fruit, notes of toasty oak and sweet spice adding a further dimension to the finish—it spent 12 months in new French oak barrel and 12 more in stainless steel tank. Serve with chicken in creamy mushroom sauce. (Susan Desjardins)

****1/2 drink now Oh Canada!
Small Talk Vineyards ‘Dessert Anyone?’ Riesling Icewine 2011
VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake $35.00 200 mL 11.5% alcohol
Lifted aromas of honeyed pit fruit and floral notes mingle with tropical fruit. It bathes the palate with a sweet, unctuous stream of buckwheat honey, yellow peach, apricot and mango with replays infusing the finish and aftertaste. This is medium weight and nicely textured with plenty of charm. A perfect size for a romantic evening for two, it could be sipped as the dessert or poured with fruit flan. (Vic Harradine)

• The following two wines are available by the case for daily home, office or restaurant delivery online at Tawse Wineryalong with wines found in previous December 8, 2015 and January 7, 2016 newsletters 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 ‘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)

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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/biodynamic-farmed 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. (Vic Harradine)