Aussie Wine Guy is blessed with generous friends who, from time to time, gift bottles of liquid gold – ice wine – mainly from Canada.
This bottle, from Canadian vineyard Rivière du Chêne is aptly called “Monde”, which translates to “world” in English. This is a world-class dessert wine, and embodies all the characteristics dessert wine lovers cherish – layers of juicy fruit and a refined sweetness which doesn’t wash out the caeful fruit combinations.
‘This brilliant sticky wine lives up to the vaunted expectations when it comes to one of Canada’s best exports. Using Orrefors dessert glasses (pictured above), the wine produced a good viscosity on initial swirls in the glass, whilst producing a beautiful golden hue.
The first sitting, it was paired with home made salted caramel parfait which provided a salty bedrock against the perfectly crafted fruit combination of the ice wine. Afterwards, we vulgarly finished off the bottle without any accompaniment because it was that damned good! Highly recommended.
Last month we were lucky enough to be able to uncork this extravagant and scarce Merlot icewine, which was generously gifted by a good friend and co-worker of mine (many thanks again, Jenny!).
This particular bottle came from a Canadian estate on the Niagara Peninsula in Ontario known as Pillitteri Estates. Their website is an excellent source of information about icewine as well as details about how it is produced.
Since the process of making icewine involves freezing the grapes, the amount of icewine produced is quite small when compared to a normal yield under less than freezing conditions. As a result, icewine is fairly expensive and typically sold in smaller amounts.
This particular bottle was chilled before serving. The wine was a brilliant amber/red colour and was incredibly viscous (sticky) as befits a dessert wine. This was the first Merlot based icewine we’d tasted, and although it lacked the zest found in Vidal, it possessed a more refined taste concentrated with hints of stone fruit.
Merlot tends to restrain the acidity and balance the sweetness better than the more common Vidal icewines, and this wine is a good example. We served the icewine in Orrefors dessert wine glasses, and the drop – as expected – hit the spot. It was so good, we forgot to get a photo before the bottle ran dry!
In true Aussie Wine Guy fashion, the rule here is that we don’t open a bottle of icewine unless there’s another in reserve.
Our next icewine will be from well known producer Inniskillin