RICK VANSICKLE/Wines in Niagara
The February blahs got you down? Tired of the crazy warm, cold, killer storm, warm, cold, yin and yang of this winter yet? I know I am. But I am finding solace in the big comfort wines of Niagara.
And that means substantive, fulfilling reds to enjoy by the fireplace.
Our three WIN wines of the week all fit that bill perfectly. Two of our picks are from the warm, excellent 2010 vintage while the other choice is a nicely maturing Cabernet from the equally wonderful 2007 vintage.
All these wine are being released this Saturday at Vintages.
Fielding Estate Cabernet Syrah 2010
($25, 90 points)
A blend of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah with a touch of Cab Franc. What a fantastic nose of roasted meats, black cherry, rousing spices and licorice-tar notes.
This is a serious red from a brilliant vintage in Niagara and displays rich red and dark fruits, boysenberry, anise and oak spices that come together beautifully in the mouth.
One to hold on to it or a few more years if you can.
Creekside Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Queenston Road Vineyard 2007
($35, 91 points)
I am very curious to see how this wine evolves. It has the stuffing to improve in bottle for 10 years or more.
Individual barrel assessment resulted in the selection of a blend featuring 100 per cent French oak, 60 per cent new with the remainder consisting of one-year-old and neutral barrels.
The wine spent 31 months in barrel, giving it depth and maturity.
The nose shows currants, plums and blackberry with traces of raspberry tart, blueberry and anise all bolstered by an array of toasted spices.
It is gorgeous on the palate with the flavours just beginning to integrate with the oak.
It’s firm, big, and powerful with the potential to evolve for many years to come.
Rosewood Merlot 2010
($22, 90 points)
This won a gold medal at the Decanter wine awards, and it’s very well deserved.
The 2010 vintage for Bordeaux varieties is proving to be a benchmark for Niagara reds.
Such a gorgeous nose of black cherry, currants, anise, oak spices and touches of tobacco leaf, licorice and kirsch.
It is rich, concentrated and structured in the mouth with perfectly ripe red fruits, a balanced spice profile and length through the finish.
Buy, hold and enjoy this for a few years.
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.
Click here to visit the Wines in Niagara ARCHIVE, where Rick’s past stories and wine review’s can be found.