After the Gold Rush
Canadian Producers are ushering in a new era of quality north of the border.
Cave Spring Cellars, an early proponent of vinifera, planted Riesling
obtained through Hermann Weis of St. Urbans-Hof in Germany’s Mosel
Valley as early as 1978. Its Riesling Icewine Lincoln Lakeshore (93,
$60/375ml) is one of the highestscoring wines of this report. The 2017
vintage was challenging, with a cool and wet spring and summer, yet
ideal conditions in the fall benefited the late-ripening Riesling.
“Because Lake Ontario is so deep and temperate, it tends to allow for
Riesling, our grape of choice for making icewine, to ripen gradually and
completely,” explains Cave Spring managing partner Tom Pennachetti, who
serves as vice president of marketing and sales. “By cooling the
vineyards throughout the growing season at the lakeshore sites where we
grow our Riesling for this wine, the lake prevents overripening in the
late season,” Pennachetti continues. “This allows the clusters to
survive the [regular] harvest window and endure intact, if desiccated,
through the freeze-thaw cycles of late-November and early December.”
2017 Riesling Icewine, Lincoln Lakeshore – Rated 93
Floral, apricot, lanolin and white pepper aromas and flavours lead to
honey details in this balanced sweetie, showing fine cut and length.
Drink now through 2030.
2017 Riesling CSV, Beamsville Bench – Rated 90
Intense aromas of peach, apple, pine and stone are the hallmarks of this
sophisticated dry Riesling. Harmonious and vibrant, with good
concentration and a lingering aftertaste of orchard fruit and mineral.
Should develop notes of lanolin and honey with age. Drink now through
2017 Riesling Indian Summer, Lincoln Lakeshore – Rated 90
Floral, apricot, lanolin and lime flavours are the hallmarks of this
subtly sweet white. Light-footed, with a vibrant character and a long
finish. Drink now through 2028.
2017 Riesling Estate, Beamsville Bench – Rated 89
The aromas are reminiscent of a Mosel spätlese, exuding floral, peach,
lime and slate notes, yet this is bone-dry. Balanced, with a chalky feel
on the mouthwatering finish.
Drink now through 2024.
– Bruce Sanderson (2/20)