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