Inniskillin Winery, located on the Niagra Peninsula in Canada, has long been one of my favorite producers of icewine–not that there are a lot of icewine producers in North American. And that is because icewine (a dessert wine) is a very tiny, very select niche in the world of wine–and Germany tends to have the lion’s share of the market worldwide.
What Inniskillin has done is establish itself as one of Canada’s first estate-based wineries–and a winery to make Canada proud.
For the uninitiated, icewine is produced from grapes left on the the vine until the first hard freeze. At that stage of the season the grapes start to look more like raisins. The hard frost isolates the remaining water in the grapes–leaving intensely sweet and concentrated fruit. The tiny amount of juice given up by the shriveled grapes has a syrupy texture almost like honey–and tastes almost like honey. The key to icewine is formulating it so the intense sweetness and fruit is offset by clean a acidity. A great icewine is like nectar–made to be sipped. Naturally, this rare nectar commands a rare price.
2017 Inniskillin Vidal Icewine: flavors and aromas of tropical fruit, peach, and citrus. 49.00
2017 Inniskillin Reisling Icewine: aromatic lemon/lime and peach is reflected in the flavor profile. 79.00
2017 Inniskillin Cabernet Franc: an explosion of strawberry/raspberry flavor and aroma–layers of lush fruit. 84.00