RICK VANSICKLE/Wines in Niagara
I have a front patio, and, I’m not bragging or anything like that, but it’s a lovely brick patio with four well-worn Muskoka chairs.
In the spring the wisteria cascades from the pergola in a riot of purple blooms and offers a bucolic sanctuary just out of view from the neighbours who stroll down the quiet street we live on.
It is our refuge from the indoors, our quiet place, where the bottle of wine we choose to enjoy better be fresh and interesting but never so complicated that it takes away from the bliss of a peaceful afternoon or evening just whiling away the time.
I have found a new bottle that has that front patio written all over it. It is the Tawse Gamay 2011, the first Gamay ever released by the Vineland winery, and, my, oh my, what a beauty.
It is sourced from the Huebel Vineyard in Niagara-on-the-Lake and sees light oak aging. It is the kind of Gamay that blends into my lifestyle.
It doesn’t hit you over the head with complicated nuances and intricate oak stylings.
It is just a fresh, everyday, porch-sipping wine (with only 12% alcohol) that you can sit and drink casually all night long (and still walk confidently when it’s time to go inside).
This is my new porch-sipper.
Our three WIN wines of the week feature the new Tawse Gamay plus a couple other new wines just being release.
Tawse Gamay 2011
($19, winery now, 89 points)
A nose of pure raspberry fruit with cherry accents and subtle forest floor.
It’s wonderfully fresh and soft on the palate with juicy red fruits, light oak and a lick of licorice on the finish.
The ultimate porch sipper? Yes.
Very few Ontario wineries make this delightful variety, which is a shame as it is such a great wine with a variety of foods.
The nose shows melon, bold apple, lush tropical fruits, a whiff of honey and light herbs.
It’s vibrant and fresh on the palate with a full apple fruit attack and added grapefruit, lemon and just a kiss of honey.
Stratus Wildass White 2008
($20, LCBO, 90 points)
A blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier with each of the components vinified separately in small lots before being assembled after 18 months in new French oak barrels.
It’s a substantive white with creamy-spicy notes and flavours of poached pear, tropical fruits and just a hint of nutmeg and vanilla through the finish.
It’s drinking lovely right now with just the right amount of aging upon release.
Rick Vansickle is a veteran journalist, wine reviewer and publisher of Wines in Niagara. His reviews appear each Friday in Bullet News.
Rick can be found on the web atwww.winesinniagara.com.
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