New in Ontario Wineries

• This limited-production, sparkling wine—only 161 cases produced—is a thing of beauty that was deftly handled from vine to bottle. Estate-grown, 100% Chardonnay fruit was hand-picked into small picking baskets, hand sorted at the winery and gently, whole-bunch pressed. It settled in tank for 36 hours then racked off gross lees before being fermented dry at a cool 16°C. The second fermentation began in the bottle you purchase on February 5, 2013 and was kept on its fine lees in bottle for 30 months before being disgorged on August, 2015. It’s sealed with a red ribbon and crown-cap closure ensuring it tastes as wonderful as the winemaker knew it would when you flip it off.

***** drink now Oh Canada!
Featherstone ‘Joy - Premium Cuvée’ Sparkling Wine 2012
VQA Twenty Mile Bench $34.95 (310334) 12.6% alcohol
This is a stunning example of what meticulous vinification technique does to showcase excellent fruit from a top year. This would score well in a flight of world-class sparkling wine. Persistent fine-bead bubbles form an admirable mousse infused with lively aromas of citrus and mineral notes along with hints of baking bread and orange blossom. A refreshing attack of lime and zesty lemon interweaves with ripe pit fruit on the palate persisting through the lengthy aftertaste—clean and refreshing, balanced and beautiful. (Vic Harradine)

****1/2 drink or cellar Oh Canada!
Featherstone Pinot Noir 2012
VQA Twenty Mile Bench $24.95 12.3% alcohol
This is a lovely Niagara Pinot; estate fruit was hand harvested, wild-yeast fermented and pressed into French oak barrel undergoing full malolactic conversion. An involved nose of red berry fruit, mixed spice and slightly mineral notes make way for a medium-weight, nicely balanced wash of red cherry, cranberry and passion fruit joined by kirsch liqueur on the dry, tangy aftertaste. This pours well with duck or quail. (Vic Harradine)

**** drink or cellar Oh Canada!
Featherstone ‘Canadian Oak’ Chardonnay 2014
VQA Niagara Peninsula $18.95 (326975) 12.5% alcohol
Hard to be more ‘local’—owners, grapes and oak for the barrels. There’s oodles of baking spice, sweet vanilla and caramel on the nose of this medium-bodied, nicely textured Chard. It bathes the palate with piquant apple pie spice, notions of oak and tangy citrus—Myer lemon, Key lime and grapefruit melding well with green apple on the long finish. Lovely poured now, will knit together and even improve with six more months in bottle. (Vic Harradine)

**** drink now Oh Canada!
Featherstone ‘Four Feathers’ 2015
VQA Niagara Peninsula $14.95 (341586) 12.5% alcohol
This blend of four noble white varieties brings to the fore some of the unique characteristics of each, including the floral character of Gewürztraminer and Riesling, the ripe orchard fruit of Chardonnay, and the freshness of Sauvignon Blanc. Just off dry, notes of peach, melon, citrus zest and spice are framed by fine acidity, while residual sweetness manifests on the fresh, fruity finish. Serve this value-packed beauty with pan-fried white fish. (Susan Desjardins)

****1/2 drink now Oh Canada! Exceptional Value! 
Kacaba ‘Jennifer’s’ Pinot Gris 2015
VQA Niagara Peninsula $17.95 12.0% alcohol
Aromas of floral notes and exotic spice interplay with honey and peach on the nose. A deftly balanced and full-fruited rush of pure ambrosia explodes on the palate—lemon pie filling, spiced, ripe melon and lemon-lime cordial to the fore. It’s pure and persistent through the lengthy, lip-smacking finish and aftertaste. The quality-price balance tips in your favour and it’s versatile at the table pouring with chicken, pork or seafood. (Vic Harradine)

****1/2 drink or cellar Oh Canada!
Kacaba Cabernet Franc 2014
VQA Niagara Escarpment $24.95 13.0% alcohol
Kacaba goes from strength to strength as winemaker John Tummon and his team allows the well-managed, estate-grown fruit do the talking. This is deftly balanced and brimming with lively flavour—racy red cherry/berry fruit nicely balanced with notes of ripe, sweet raspberry decorated with spice and mocha. It’s medium weight with good texture and a dry, mouth-watering finish and aftertaste. What’s not to like? (Vic Harradine)

**** drink now Oh Canada!
Kacaba ‘Reserve’ Riesling 2015
VQA Niagara Peninsula $17.95 11.0% alcohol
Hand-harvested Niagara fruit was whole-bunch pressed before fermentation and settling in stainless steel tank. Green apple and lime aromas on the nose of this barely off-dry gem introduce a lively stream of Key lime, racy lemon and Granny Smith apple. The delectable flavour and pin-point balance make for a versatile wine at the table—fish, seafood, goat cheese or steamed mussels and linguini in white wine sauce. (Vic Harradine)