WTN: Ontario Wines at the Royal Agricultural Fair

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WTN: Ontario Wines at the Royal Agricultural Fair

Postby Tom N. » Mon Nov 13, 2006 1:28 am

I spent 3 1/2 days at the Royal Winter Agricultural Fair in Toronto. Luckily they had a nice wine bar for my pleausure. These wines, all from Ontario were tasted at that wine bar. Most will not be available at LCBO, but should be available from the wineries.

Whites: (Ontario is known for its quality whites)

2003 Riesling by Stonechurch Winery
Light straw color with a shy nose of melon and peach. Great mid-palate acidity and some residual sugar. Nice lemony tropical fruit and a long finish of lemon acidity. Nice riesling but nothing great.

2004 Fusion (70% Gewurz and 30% riesling) by Pilliteri Winery
Also pale straw with reticent nose of rose petals and citrus. Good lemony acid mid-palate with a hint of rose petals. Medium finish of citrus acidity. However, for a fusion wine it was dominated by the junior wine in its taste profile.

2004 Gewurztraminer Reif winery 14.95 $CAN at the winery only.
Nice clear and strong straw color. Wonderfully expressive classic nose of rose petals and lichi nuts. Fantastic mid-palate of exotic tropical fruit of lichi nuts and mangosteen with rose petals. Medium to long finish of tropical fruit. I am going to try to get some of this wine. Best white tasted and really nice gewurz in my opinion. Nice match with mandarin chicken.

2004 Sauvignon Blanc Southbrook Winery
Deep straw yellow. Grassy nose with notes of kiwi and lime fruit. Nice mid-palate of limes and kiwi. Nicely balanced, with medium acidic finish. Decent wine and really nice match with greek salad topped with feta cheese.

2005 Pinot Grigio Lakeview Winery
Pale yellow. Shy nose of lemon grass and tangerine. Lemon acidity on the mid-palate with a medium acidic finish. Balance OK, but somewhat skewed toward acid, in my opinion. OK wine, but not to my liking, but I may be a bit biased since I am not crazy about the grigio style in general.

Reds

2004 Pinot Noir Flatrock Winery
Light ruby center fading to an orangish brick edge. Bright cherry nose with hints of beetroot. Tart cherries and smooth tannins on the mid-palate with a nice balance. Medium long finish of acid fading to cherry fruit. Nice match with chicken souvalaki. Decent pinot.

2004 Cab/Merlot Twenty Bees
Medium garnet center with slight fade in intensity to crimson at the edge. Plummy nose with a hint of red raspberry. Nice balance of red fruit, acidity and smooth tannins on the mid-palate. Medium acidic finish that fades to red raspberry fruit. Decent wine, but not one that I would seek out. Although I keep trying them, Cab Franc and merlot are not really varieties that I can really get into. Just not my favorite taste profiles, I guess.

2004 Cab F/Merlot/Shiraz Southbrook Winery
Semitransparent ruby center fading slightly to the edge. Cassis, plum, and a hint of pepper on the nose. Nicely balanced with good smooth tannins on the mid-palate that grip the buds comfortably to let you know this wine has some structure too. Blackberries and black cherries predonminant fruits. Medium finish goes from acidic black fruit to smooth tannins at the end. Probably the best red I tasted and one that I would buy. Nice match with buffalo burger.
Tom Noland
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Re: WTN: Ontario Wines at the Royal Agricultural Fair

Postby Howie Hart » Mon Nov 13, 2006 10:00 am

Tom - thanks for posting.
The '04 Rief Gewurtz sounds like its worth the 20 minute drive across the border to pick up. I also liked the Flatrock Pinot when I visited there with PaulB last Spring. I have a bottle, but haven't opened it yet. I also have a bottle of the Stonechurch Riesling, but I think I overdosed on Riesling over the Summer and have been avoiding it as late.
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Re: WTN: Ontario Wines at the Royal Agricultural Fair

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Nov 13, 2006 12:08 pm

Thanks for this posting. 20 Bees was on a TV news show recently.
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Re: WTN: Ontario Wines at the Royal Agricultural Fair

Postby Tom N. » Mon Nov 13, 2006 12:57 pm

Hi Howie,

I liked the Stonechurch riesling and I think it is a good one. But, as I told the woman who organized the tasting bar it is not quite up there with the German rieslings yet, but getting closer. She said something about having to limit to affordable wines to keep her prices reasonable and I reminded her that I can get a very good Gunderloch riesling kabinett in Ontario for $15 or $16 a bottle, which is about the price limit she was working with on her selection. I thought she did a good job of picking out some interesting and good quality wines. I did not post on all of the wines I tasted because they were either not very distinctive or a bit lacking in one or two areas except for a nice Baco Noir reserve that I should have written a tasting note for but just didn't think of it at the time.

The 04 Reif Gewurz is definitely worth the effort to buy. Best gewurz I have had all year and definitely the best wine I had at the Royal wine tasting bar.
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