The finish is intense and long. ($20), This is a blend of 35 percent melon de Bourgogne, 35 percent pinot gris and 30 percent riesling. There’s also some citrus notes, but not overwhelmingly so. Still young, this will be at its peak in 5-7 years. Terroir junkies will want to invest in this. The palate is rich and vibrant with succulent cherries, bell pepper, nutmeg and subtle earth. Nothing more, nothing less. Thanks for subscribing! Well-made. The acid finish has a full-bodied mouthfeel that is sure to satisfy. ($36.95), Closson Chase 2018 ‘Churchside’ Pinot Noir, This 2018 edition of the Churchside pinot expresses the warmth of the vintage with a softer profile of dark fruit flavours, beetroot, mushroom and earthy notes. A fascinating wine. There’s some toasty almond undertones and a minerally infused freshness on the finish. This wine is just so compellingly alive and character-driven; it literally had me giddy with enjoyment. This boxed wine brand is a rare triple threat where their red, white and boxed rosé wines are all worth trying. In fact, the grapes are all locally grown and were aged for over 18 months in barrels crafted from Prince Edward County white oak. ‘The Royal Road Recipe’ is made of estate grown pinot noir, of multiple clones, and is quite complex and beautifully structured. You’ll notice that it’s quite focused and layered, and hints at things to come with added complexities sure to hit peak performance come 2024. “Since there is a slightly cooler climate, the harvest of Dolcetto grapes is around 10-12 days late compared to the Barbaresco area and 5-7 compared to the nearest Barolo area, which ensures that there is a different maturation of the tannins as well as grape acids and sugars.”. The palate is quite round, elegant and mirrors much of the aromatics with added flavours of candied apple and brown sugar. A versatile wine to pair with many styles of food from sweet to spicy and white and red meats alike. The Best Wine Vintages to Drink in 2020. Red Wine PRODUCT ATTRIBUTES Country. And at this price point, you probably wouldn’t expect it to be. One of the year’s best Italian wines. I’d say it has to be one of the better single vineyard offerings in the province for the price. ($59.95), Right off the bat this wine seduces with enticing aromas of plum, black currants, toasted cedar, leather, fig and notes of tobacco. The best vegan white wine. ($24.95), This chard is light on the mouthfeel with apple, pear and a slight mineral note with a bit of an acidic burst on the finish. Readership was steady and feedback was encouraging. Acids are still fresh, elegant and dainty. ($34.95), Made using estate-grown fruit, the grapes for this riesling are kiln dried which produces a more concentrated and sweeter flavour profile in the wine. ($26.95), Trail Estate 2018 ‘Foxcroft’ Cabernet Franc, Sourced from Niagara’s Foxcroft Vineyard, this is an excellent and pure expression of both the vineyard and of the warmer 2018 vintage. This is the perfect addition to a wine enthusiast’s kitchen or wet bar. Wines are categorized by varietal or type – simply click on any of the types below and jump straight to those wines. ($14.95), This is very concentrated with layers of exploding fruit and texture filling the mouth. Hand riddled and hand disgorged (perhaps the only winery in the country that does this?). Top 5 Red at LCBO, BCLDB, and SAQ. Lovely varietal character, with notable overall harmony, and an appealing zestiness. Produced from 100 percent estate-grown fruit from the winery’s Stirling Gait Vineyard, this riesling is superbly crafted, one that’s a real conversation starter. Then it happened; one cancellation after the other. The supermarket won Champagne & Sparkling Specialist of the Year in the 2020 Decanter Retailer Awards, and its Waitrose & Partners No.1 range is also worth paying attention to – there are some great buys here, especially in the sweet and fortified categories.These wines are designed to show good typicity, and as such are a good introduction to styles you may not have tried before. It shimmers gold in the glass, evoking elegance and sophistication. But Ontario wine can be pricey compared to similar bottles from elsewhere. In mid-February, the VineRoutes.com website launched with plenty of exciting energy behind it and a focused plan to share some interesting stories within the world of wine. The finish is slightly salty. ($24.95), Campbell Kind Wine 2019 ‘Limestone Ridge’ Riesling, This riesling, made in conjunction with winemaker Paul Pender and Tawse Winery, is from Steven Campbell of his Campbell Kind Wines – the world’s first international range of sustainable, carbon zero wines. ($24.95), One of Adamo’s first successes was a 2013 pinot noir made with fruit harvested from the well-respected Lowrey Vineyard in St. David’s Bench in Niagara. ($24), I was given the opportunity to taste this side-by-side with the 2018 vintage. The palate is bright, zesty and explosive with fresh grapefruit citrus, honey, peach and pear. Sadly, cabernet doesn’t grow well in the cooler Prince Edward County region, so they acquire the fruit for this from the Mason Vineyard, located within Niagara’s Twenty Mile Bench appellation. This year, an astonishing 8775 wines were tasted, with the winners announced on the evening of the awards, and published in the 2020 Halliday Wine Companion, released the following day. Despite a summer trip to Portugal’s Douro Valley needing to be cancelled, in addition to other trips that involved wine, I am grateful that I live close to wine country here in Ontario. A textbook rosé. ($14.95), A blend of merlot and petit verdot, this deep crimson coloured wine is quite floral in its aromatics. Winter was mild and dry followed by a warm and dry spring. I’m generally not a fan of gamay/pinot blends, as I feel it tends not to do justice to either grape varietal. About 13 percent of gamay was added to the final blend, which helps to make the wine more approachable in its youth, moderating the tannins. Enjoy tonight with duck with cherry sauce or over the next 3-5 years. It’s medium-bodied with flavours of wild strawberry, fresh pepper and fig. ($32), The ready to drink canned wine category is gaining more popularity and market share in the industry. ($40), Traynor Family Vineyard 2019 Oaked Chardonnay, Made from estate-grown fruit, this Chablis-style chardonnay is barrel fermented and lightly oaked (six-seven total months). Ontario Wine Snapshot: My first tasting experience post COVID lockdown happened at Westcott Vineyards, with winemaker Casey Kulczyk. It’s made in a low intervention style with the wine spending much of its time resting on its lees, not over-pumped or transferred from one vessel to the next. now. It was aged in a combination of new and used French oak for 17 months which has helped to bring out its jammy, earthy flavour profile that finishes smoky. Ontario Wine Snapshot: Finally getting a chance to meet Cloudsley Cellars owner and operator Adam Lowy was exciting. There’s a mineral edge component that goes well with the crisp acids, and, did I read this right, just 1.5 grams of residual sugar? It’s noticeably darker in colour than the practically see-through Glen Elgin pinot. An interesting compliment to the Lowrey Vineyard offering. The citrus fruit notes are abundant on the palate which is light and easy drinking with bright acidity and a crisp, refreshing finish. That will smoothen out over time in bottle. It’s remarkably approachable, yet built for serious aging (up to a decade). Burning Kiln 2017 ‘Stick Shaker’ Savagnin, Perhaps the most interesting wine of their entire portfolio is this – an appassimento style white made from the savagnin grape, a varietal that originates from the Jura region in France. In 2016, the California Wine Market Council reported that three-litre boxes posted the strongest growth in the market, with 13.7% over the previous year. ($21.95), Westcott Vineyards 2016 ‘Estate’ Pinot Noir, From the very hot and dry vintage that was 2016, this pinot underwent full malolactic, wild ferment and 33 percent whole cluster. It’s a winning formula with alluring aromas of candied cherry, red licorice and cinnamon. The ‘Wismer-Wingfield’ vineyard (Twenty Mile Bench sub-appellation) is a late ripening parcel, furthest from Lake Ontario and at the highest elevation. One sip and immediately you realize why this wine was destined to make its way back. The colour is a deep, purplish maroon and it smells of an assembly of dark fruits, tar and spice. ($34.95), Burning Kiln 2017 ‘Kiln Hanger’ Cabernet Franc, This is the winery’s flagship offering. The NutriChef wine cooler is the best in the market at its price point. It’s young and needs a bit more time to fully harmonize, so don’t rush this. Let this decant and witness it get even more rich and complex. A dark fruit core over a medium body, with subtle earthiness, plum, raspberry and vanilla flavours. The palate is noticeably rich and fruit forward with flavours of dark, ripened cherry, strawberry and raspberry. Leaning Post 2018 ‘Wismer Vineyard’ Gamay, This Leaning Post gamay seems almost akin to pinot noir as it is layered with complex flavours that I wouldn’t have expected to find in most Ontario gamay wines. It’s so scarce in Ontario, just eight acres are planted in total throughout the province, with two of those acres planted at Burning Kiln. Then refreshing stone minerality and a wonderful salinity sending it all the way to the finish. Flavours of pear, pineapple, grapefruit and additional citrus fruits are enjoyable. It’s concentrated and ripe, full bodied, grippy and generously layered with structured tannins and fresh acidity. ($25), Bachelder 2018 Wismer-Foxcroft ‘Niagara Cru’ Gamay Noir, Bachelder only just recently expanded his portfolio to include gamay noir and he’s made an auspicious start. Cranberry, forest floor, raspberry and meaty notes are just some of what makes up the wine’s complex flavour profile. (Regularly priced at $49.95 but on sale now for $10 off when you buy online! Right away, I smell cigar box, smoke and even coffee and black licorice notes. ($24), As proof would have it, malbec does grow in the cooler Prince Edward County environment and this is a wine that, unsurprisingly, has attracted some serious attention. A ruby port style wine boasting 18% alc./vol and 95 grams of residual sugar. This uses vidal grapes, estate grown, and made in a very natural style (free of additives, no sulphites, wild yeast). A blend of chardonnay and pinot noir, it spends 30 months on the lees and tends to be slightly spicy, with tangy lemon, stone fruit and toasty notes. This range is similar to cabernet sauvignon and around the average for most reds. Medium-full with very good concentration. The results are an aromatic and refreshingly fruity wine, with inviting notes of strawberry and raspberry. Medium-full, this has beautifully ripe fruit, a rich mid-palate, excellent persistence and medium-weight tannins. ($35). Enjoy aromas of melon, apple and pear, with a sleek acidic back bone. Made entirely with riesling grapes, this is a very expressive, aromatic and off dry (not to mention very popular with buyers). Print Edition ... Wine Advent Calendar 2020. There’s barrel spice, while other varietal characteristics of black pepper and smoke round out this young, yet already complex wine. Excellent, Pecchenino Dogliani Superiore Bricco Botti 2016 - Bright, deep crimson/purple; aromas of black plum, clove and a hint of molasses. By Maria Miyashiro. And this is the main event. Typical room temperature used to be 14°C, but now it’s 21°C, which is too warm. I wasn’t joking around when I said that this takes Ontario-made pinot to a new level of sophistication. ... That’s why we also compile an annual cheat-sheet showing what wine vintages are best to drink right now. It’s medium-bodied with fruit flavours of red currant and cherry, plus added notes of earth and beet root unfolding on the palate. ($35), Cloudsley Cellars 2017 ‘Foxcroft Vineyard’ Chardonnay, The Foxcroft Vineyard is a popular vineyard for winemakers to source fruit from. It underwent a wild ferment with light punch downs during fermentation for gentle extraction from the skins. Definitely a notch above and worth making the leap to, in case you’re wondering about differences from the estate version. A mineral finish gives this wine a clean and refreshing after-taste. Usually a wine that’s higher in residual sugar, this particular offering is noticeably less sweet (at 5 g/L) – a stark contrast from the flabbier and over-extracted bacos one mostly tends to find coming out of the Niagara region. Very good value. Discover the best wine coolers and wine fridges of 2020. You may find red wine tastes better if you chill it a little in the fridge. Fruit is solely sourced from the estate’s remarkable Whitty Vineyard, and so, what we get is a very lovely and lively wine, full of complex flavours and mouth-watering acidity. The result is a very expressive chardonnay with inviting honey suckle and orchard fruit aromatics. French police raid gang suspected of €5m grand cru wine theft ‘Thrilling’ result for the Hospices de Beaune 2020 auction. With this being the only two acres of malbec grown in Prince Edward County, what we get is a unique wine, with equally unique flavours. But one can’t deny its food friendly nature. The free run juice from this wine was fermented in new oak with the rest left to ferment on skins. I write about wine (and sometimes food) from around the world. It’s flinty with hints of kerosene, smoke and sweet orange aromas. It’s a very smooth and soft wine with vibrant acidity and a very lengthy finish. There’s a distinct toasty oak influence and a wet stone, mineral core. It’s a bit unconventional, but there is reason to believe that this could take off and become more popular. There’s some floral and spicy notes on the finish. ... though many area wineries focus predominately on red. Last Updated: 18 December 2020 . Great for hot summer days and at such a pleasing price point. Body: Merlot is a medium- to full-bodied red wine. Not all were reviewed officially for this website, but the ones that were for various stories, interviews and reports are now listed below (close to 200 wines in total). Better with food. Co-op Irresistible Gavi 2017. Very well-made merlot, and at a price that’s hard to beat for the quality. Best Malbec under £10 Waitrose Argentinian Malbec 2018. The best vegan white wine. ($44.95), Bachelder 2017 Lowrey Vineyard ‘Old Vines’ Pinot Noir, This is St. David’s Bench, otherwise known as the bench of Niagara-on-the-Lake. To get instant access, join Which? This one has all sorts of interesting aromas and flavours, zigging and zagging a bit, with obvious barrel play experimentation. Vinebox. It’s excellent now but will still benefit from 2-3 more years of aging. Savoury hints of earthy beets and fresh sage follow with allusions to graphite and dusty gravel. The finish has some grip to it. I wrote a note after tasting this that said “terroiristic”. Get ready for Summer Fridays with the help of a little vino delivered to your door. The effusive fruitiness has given way slightly to a more complex palette of flavors. The wine also happens to give immense energy to the ones having it. Ontario Wine Snapshot: A socially distanced visit with Ilya Senchuk at Leaning Post, back in April. Try with chicken fajitas or with a fully-loaded, juicy burger. It’s a different expression of pinot noir, not a wrong expression. ($24), Redtail Vineyards 2019 “Secret” Pinot Noir, The story behind the wine is that the fruit comes from a sought after pinot noir vineyard in Niagara’s St. David’s Bench (I can wager a good guess as to exactly where, but I won’t on the record). Aromas of fresh tangerine and fuzzy peach are beautifully coaxed from the glass before experiencing intense flavours of orange rind, pear and peach that simply burst on the palate. It’s an approachable, easy drinking wine with notes of cherry, blackberry and subtle spice. Wine Basics. A dollop of sparkling chardonnay must was added to tweak the sugar and up the bubble potential. The palate is rich and savoury, inducing flavour notes of brambled fruit, herbs, earth and minerality. ($90), Exultet Estates 2018 ‘Royal Road Recipe’ Pinot Noir, Hand-tended and hand-picked fruit, grown with organic materials when possible and minimal chemical use are fundamental to achieving excellent wines – especially wines that are true expressions of terroir, like pinot noir is. The aromas are rich and complex with hints of black cherry, leather and even dark chocolate. Very good depth here considering this is supposed to be a more easy-going wine – there’s just 11.2% alc/vol declared. Such poise with distinguished flavour profile, including apples, peach cobbler, lemon zest and a mid-palate minerality perhaps never experienced to this degree in previous releases. Enticing aromas of raspberry, spice, stewed cherries, chocolate and cedar waft from the glass. The mid-palate is creamy, soft and rich with intensified flavours of peach and pear. This particular bottle comes with an unusual closure. ($21.95), Over the years, the Stratus Red has been that constant reminder that Ontario can and does compete in the ultra-premium varietal blend space. This wine is loaded with fruit flavours of raspberries, blackcurrants and black cherries on the fore palate, which is then followed with blueberries, dried tobacco, violets and leather. No sharp acids to be found. Medium sweet and highly memorable. As is the case with the Wismer-Wingfield ‘Ouest’ chardonnay, this is an ultra-focused single vineyard wine that offers up a textured mouthfeel and layers of flavour. It is fruit-forward and juicy on the palate with present but well-integrated tannins. ($44.95), The County is one of the few places on Earth where both oak and grapes grow side by side and Black Prince Winery is most proud to release the first chardonnay aged for 18 months in Prince Edward County white oak barrels. The pinot demonstrates the terroir so well here, with earth and savoury notes, dark cherry and pine. The wine is dark and earthy with beautiful peppery notes of black licorice laced with thyme and blackberries on the nose. ($18), An interesting blend, this rosé is made from fruit sourced from both Niagara and the County. The wine is definitely rounder and meaner, with its layers already beginning to unfold. ($34.95), This is the red wine compliment to the Route 33 White that was launched in August. Wet stone and mineral characteristics complement its juicy flavours of citrus and green apple. It’s well refined and ready to drink. A 100 percent gamay rosé mostly made from free-run juice – hence the beautiful pale pink colour. Don’t be fooled. Perhaps it’s a bit too soon to know for certain, but I’d wager that in about six years, this will be fondly immortalized as one of the very best wines Stratus has ever produced. The Ontario Wine Awards recognize VQA varietal quality in 25 different categories and acknowledge winners at Bronze, Silver and Gold Medal levels. A truly memorable wine that’s classic in its old world style. ($26.50), Adamo Estate 2015 ‘Wismer-Foxcroft’ Wild Ferment Chardonnay. ($55), This pinot is made from Niagara Twenty Mile Bench fruit. Much like Foxcroft, this is a next level single vineyard, one of Niagara’s grand cru spots that should make chardonnay lovers feel extra special for having experienced a taste of it. ($25), The winery is really betting on the success and current popularity of skin contact wines (or orange wines) and their price point reflects their bold and daring stance. ($44.99), Leaning Post 2017 ‘Senchuk Vineyard’ Pinot Noir, It’s just the third vintage of his namesake home vineyard pinot noir but already Ilya Senchuk has touted this particular wine as the best pinot noir he’s made to date. It’s an aromatically rich and dense wine, sweet with notes of raw honey, orange marmalade, ginger and ripe juicy melon. ($49.95), Exultet Estates 2017 ‘the Blessed’ Chardonnay, Previous vintages of the ‘Blessed’ chardonnay have won top honours at the Ontario Wine Awards and the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in Ontario Wines. ($33), Made of 80 percent chardonnay and 20 percent sauvignon blanc (both estate grown), the two varietals were co-fermented and cold stabilized before settling. A slight bit warm, it’s got palate pleasing flavours of wildberry fruit, vanilla and baking spice. Well, Dolcetto wines are meant for short-term drinking (within 3-6 years in most instances, though there are notable exceptions), so compared to wines made exclusively from the local Nebbiolo grape, such as Barolo and Barbaresco, that can drink well for 20-25 years and longer from some vintages, Dolcetto seems like a minor player in the game. ($17.95), Back 10 Cellars 2019 Rose Coloured Glasses. All of our picks for the best red wine under $20. ($29.95), The name Cureman’s chardonnay – like many of the brand names within the Burning Kiln portfolio – takes its cue from the tobacco industry. ($29.95), A solid tasting pinot grigio here. Bone dry, taught and persistent, this wine reflects its pedigree extremely well. Our roundup of the best value red wines under $20 is based on professional reviews and competition results, as well as insider knowledge, to ensure that every bottle offers a great deal. Each was fermented separately in stainless steel tanks and then blended to create this final product. The result is a lighter, more friendly texture – rounded and mouth coating, a bit less edgy. There’s inviting aromas of fresh cherries that lead to a clean and refreshing taste. The Ontario Wine Awards recognize VQA varietal quality in 25 different categories and acknowledge winners at Bronze, Silver and Gold Medal levels. Best Wine Region (2020) Walla Walla Valley named best American wine region. Darker in colour, this is a wine with intensity and a tight focused palate from start to finish. ($45), A great any day wine, suited for most meals and not trying to be more than what it is. The nose has hints of flint, minerality, honey and bees wax. This is fermented in French oak which gives off flavours of honeyed melon, apple and vanilla. Absolutely, so why isn’t Dolcetto more popular? It produces a wine that is higher in alcohol and dark in colour with very intense aromas and flavours. There’s lovely aromas of raspberry and maraschino cherry. Only 300 cases produced. ($45), Reif Estate 2016 ‘First Growth’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Fruit for this special series was hand-harvested from a vineyard block planted in 1989 and thinned to a restricted 2 tonnes per acre. And if it’s from a top producer from an excellent vintage, such as 2016, 2018 or 2019, you may be surprised at how good Dolcetto truly is. And so, from the superb 2016 vintage comes their flagship blend of seven estate-grown varietals into one heck of a wine. It’s on the higher spectrum of alcohol/volume (13.5%), so mid-term cellaring is welcomed. The Tintern Road site is a six acre vineyard that was planted in 2010 atop the Niagara Escarpment. Usually a quite tannic wine – especially while young – the winery’s signature appassimento method has really been able to concentrate the wine’s structure and tame those wild tannins. Tannins are beautifully structured, providing a very gentle tug. The deep core of dark fruit, the silky-smooth texture on the palate, the earth and spice notes. What stands out the most for me when I taste this annual fan favourite sparkling is the creaminess of the mousse. And this wine is still a baby! It’s very smooth and silk-like; consumer friendly in taste, but maybe not so much in price. It was pressed and moved into older oak for three months, racked once thereafter and bottled with fine lees; unfixed/unfiltered. Zesty acidity, moderate tannins, very good acidity and a lengthy, very appealing finish. No new oak was used here. It’s definitely approachable now but it will age nicely over the coming three to five years. ($60), Made from fruit sourced from nearby County vineyards, this expression of pinot was whole cluster fermented and left on skins for 22 days before being pressed into tank to settle quickly. For the past 20 years, I have been a freelancer, writing. Every few months, it gets a release and before too long it’s gone. It’s fresh with subtle herbs, tart cherry and earth. It has some nice flavors of ripe pear and crisp apple, bright, refreshing acidity, and a clean finish. It’s richly layered, smooth and structured with fine, chalky tannins. ($19.95), Closson Chase 2019 ‘KJ Watson Vineyard’ Pinot Gris, From the KJ Watson Vineyard in Niagara’s Four Mile Creek sub appellation, this simply has to be one of the very best Ontario expressions of pinot gris that I have ever had the pleasure of tasting. It’s ripe and long on the finish. For an Australian wine connoisseur that wants to fork out $990 for a case of prime wine, try the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Clementine Eloise. Another dream find for any QPR hunter. A blend of 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay, this sparkling wine starts off … Glassware Virtuoso Kurt Zalto Has Quietly Released His Masterpiece Wine Glass. Very Good to Excellent, Arnaldo Rivera Diano d’Alba Sorì del Cascinotto 2017 - Light purple; aromas of black raspberry, black mint and mocha. Here you can find the most recent Top 10 lists in detail, with photos, videos and complete reviews—ratings, prices, tasting notes and when the wines are best to drink. 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