Inniskillin Gold Vidal Icewine
The Wine Advocate
January 20, 2022, Mark Squires
“The 2019 Gold Vidal Icewine was fermented and aged for about 14 weeks in 90% new French oak. It comes in with 272 grams of residual sugar, 10.5 of total acidity and 10% alcohol. Rich and unctuous, this also has classic aromatics and a certain level of freshness that keeps it from being particularly cloying. This is also completely delicious, with a little of bit of spicy apricots on the mouthwatering finish. The acidity lifts the fruit and allows it to shine through. It's never going to be a nervy wine, but it is not flabby either. If you like stickies, this won't disappoint. It should age very well, acquiring a bit more character along the way. Many will like it the way it is, but it can acquire another dimension in time.”
Though Icewine's roots can be traced to centuries-old German winemakers, there is nothing more quintessentially Canadian than this luscious luxury borne of patience and subzero bravura. Grapes are left on the vine well into the winter months to concentrate and intensify the flavors, as water content freezes, thaws and dehydrates in each precious Icewine grape. Located in Niagara-on-the-Lake at the historic Brae Burn Estate, Inniskillin has been producing world-renowned Icewines from grapes grown in the Niagara Peninsula since 1984.
Vidal is a hybrid (Ugni Blanc and Seibel) that has a thick skin suitable for harvesting late in the season. It is the grape grown most for Icewine in Ontario. Its natural acidity gives great structure to the lusciousness of its tropical aromas and flavors of mango and lychee.
With the temperature dropping to -10°C the Vidal grapes grown in the Niagara Peninsula were picked and pressed immediately upon arrival at the winery. The viscous juice was allowed to cold settle for 3 days after which time it was racked clean and inoculated with a specific strain of yeast and was fermented in new French oak at an average temperature of 15°C for 16 days. The wine was allowed to age an additional 3 months in oak before racking.
Generous amounts of ripe fruit give aromatics of peach, mango, and orange. Flavors of apricot and citrus with hints of clove and a touch of vanilla make this a classic Niagara Peninsula Icewine.
With the early onset of below seasonal temperatures, many Niagara wineries took advantage of harvesting Icewine grapes on November 12th, the earliest date recorded by VQA Ontario. The team at Inniskillin opted for more ideal conditions and began harvest on December 18th, when the bulk of the grapes were picked. Harvest wrapped up on February 9th, 2020.
Always good with the traditional crème brule and crème caramel; try tropical fruit compote, roasted peaches or pineapple with panacotta; cheeses from fresh chèvre to parmesan with a dribbling of honey; brown butter lobster salad with baby arugala and hazelnuts.
Varietals: 100% Vidal Blanc
Wine Alcohol: 9.5%
Titratable Acidity: 10.5 g/L
Residual Sugar: 272 g/L