Friday, December 17, 2010
Inniskillin East West Series Wines (Canada)
Back in 2002 Vincor released a couple of wines called "Unity", a brilliant plan of blending wines from both wine coasts of Canada (British Columbia and Ontario), but that was the only year that they did it, and since then many have been asking themselves whatever happened to that initiative. Well the name Unity has been co-opted by Jackson Triggs for their new Cellared in Canada wines (but I refuse to get into that issue here); what I want to do is praise Inniskillin (still part of Vincor) for picking up the mantle of this great idea and once again trying to bring the 'coasts' together with their East/West Series of wines. I had opportunity to try them tonight and have to say they are delicious wines. Now, in these days of terroir and single vineyard driven wines, this is not what the purists want to see, because we are talking about combining two very different locales together to make one seemingly homeless wine. But in actuality Inniskillin has created a true Canadian wine, one that deserves the word "Canada" on the label (not like that Cellared in Canada crap - okay that's my political rant for the moment).
As for the wines I tried there was the 2009 Riesling-Gewurztraminer and the 2008 Merlot-Cabernet. The Riesling-Gewurzt is broken down thusly: the Riesling is from Ontario and Gewurztraminer from British Columbia. A fresh, crisp, quaffable wine with pear, peach, a touch of apricot and some floral-soapiness from the Gewurzt that provides a nice lift and spiciness to the presentation in the mouth along with some cleansing acidity ... lovely. I rated it four stars out of five.
Next, was the 2008 Merlot-Cabernet: Merlot from Ontario, and the Cabernets (Franc and Sauvignon) from the West Coast. This makes for another fine example in the glass. The nose is smoky with notes of cassis and black raspberry while the palate had some pronounced raspberry with nice spice and some blackberry ... this is a very good wine and rated 4 stars+ out of 5.
All in all I thought these wines whose time has come again, thankfully, I just hope Inniskillin is smart enough to keep them around. Kudos.