All That Glitters Is Red

niag6Like Apple announcing a new product or app, there is excitement around any Inniskillin announcement. In time for the holiday season, and greeted with great fanfare, Inniskillin has announced a recent addition to their icewine family:  the Sparkling Cabernet Franc Icewine–a brilliant oenological matrimony of Inniskillin’s Sparkling Vidal Icewine and Cabernet Franc Icewine. A perfect pairing with dark chocolate, red fruit-based dishes, or simply a romantic or celebratory moment. Inniskillin wine maker Bruce Nicholson enthuses that, “the bubbles and crisp acidity offer a JT-ENT-Merlot-High-Res lively mouth feel to the ruby red colour with flavours and aromas of strawberry, rhubarb and raspberries.” Only 1,300 cases have been produced and they’re flying off the shelves, so…hurry!! Nicholson believes the 2013 Pinot Noir and Merlot are very promising and is equally optimistic about the Shiraz and Bordeaux reds.

Love bubbles? Made in the time-honoured Methode Classique tradition, Jackson-Triggs Grand Reserve Entourage Sparkling Wines are available in a herbaceous, citric and toasty Sauvignon Blanc, or fruity, soft vanilla bubbles of Merlot. Festive and lively. According to JT winemaker, Marco Piccoli, this year’s crop yielded very good quality, clean fruit with good concentration and structure following optimal ripening conditions. “Pinot Noir and Merlot showed good phenological ripeness across niag2the region from the Bench to Niagara on the Lake and this has resulted in good colour extraction and tannins.”

Under a willow tree in the vineyard, Le Clos Jordanne winemaker, Sebastien Jacquey, pairs his exceptional pinot noir with neighbouring Niagara gold cheese. His pinots have great colour, a fresh palate, and are very well balanced. I am told that niag4 the 2011 Grand Clos Pinot Noir should sit for five years, but for me it is love at first sip. Its elegant structure, and distinctive cherry notes, earthy, well integrated oak, complex tannins and soft palate make this luscious pinot a moment-savouring show-stopper. The Claystone Vineyard Pinot Noir and the Le Clos Jordanne Vineyard Pinot Noir are ready…now!

On a beautiful afternoon on the Jackson Triggs amphitheater stage is a spread of rustic wine salads, estate-made pickles, estate-cured and smoked ham, cold poached prawns, Niagara fruit and estate-made ricotta with local honey, artisanal breads, and fresh vegetables from the Jackson-Triggs garden. At the end of the table, a buffet of select Niagara wines from Inniskillin’s Montague vineyard chardonnay and Brae Burn vineyard viognier, to Jackson Triggs’ fume blanc, syrah and sparkling wines. A lovely display of local sophistication that reminds of all that we can offer guests around our own tables over the holidays.

Cheers! And Happy Holidays!!

Inniskillin ~ Jackson-Triggs ~ Le Clos Jordanne

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