Inniskillin Riesling Icewine
Niagara Peninsula VQA, Canada
96 Points, Cellar Selection
March 2023, Michael Alberty
“This is a glorious icewine where acidity and sugar are in perfect harmony. The candied orange peel, ginger, straw and toasted walnut and straw are a mere preview of what's to come. These intense flavors of apricot jam, pumpkin pie and lemon drops are matched by electric acidity. Enjoy now until 2035.”
February 6, 2023, Keith Beavers
“Inniskillin is a pioneering winery. As the first winery in Canada to be granted a license after prohibition, they wowed the French in the 1990s with their Vidal Icewine and continue to wow us today with their Niagara Peninsula Riesling Icewine. Bright notes of caramelized pear on the nose are balanced by a refreshing minerality, followed by a clean and focused palate with just the right amount of viscosity lingering beneath bracing natural acidity. This might just be the most refreshing icewine out there.”
The Wine Advocate
December 8, 2022, Mark Squires
“The 2021 Riesling Ice Wine is unoaked and comes in with 219 grams of residual sugar, 10.2 of total acidity and 9.5% alcohol. This is from a year that the winery calls "one of the most challenging harvests on record," due to rainfall around harvest time by table wine standards. The Riesling harvest was a couple of months later, in early January 2022. A strict selection caused lower quantities to be produced, although the winery says with "high quality." Indeed, this seems fresh and lively, with a surprisingly perky feel and a juicy finish. It's on the elegant side this year, not necessarily a bad thing, but it still tastes great. It has the freshness to allow it to age well, so there is no rush. I loved the tangy finish. If you must drink it young, you'll get waves of peaches and apricots (leaning more to peach this year), and it will taste great. A few years of age will allow it to develop some character, though.”
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.
Riesling is a classic grape variety suitable for Icewine. Its tropical and citrus aromas and flavors offer an elegance that are defined by its natural high acidity.
Grapes for this Riesling Icewine were harvested at frigid -10°C. After pressing a small amount of concentrated liquid the juice was settled, racked and inoculated. Fermentation was done at a cool 15°C for 23 days until a balance of sugar, alcohol and acidity remained.
Beautifully balanced and intense. This Inniskillin Riesling Icewine has notes of lemon grass, and honey dew melon on the nose. While on the palate, citrus and lime flavors highlights the fresh acidity.
The first week of January 2022 brought ideal temperatures of -10˚C to begin Inniskillin’s Icewine harvest, which was completed by mid-January with the second and final picking. This is historically the best time to pick Icewine to avoid the risk of fruit dehydration, high winds, and birds feasting on exposed grapes. The consistently frigid weather provided the optimal harvesting temperatures, maintaining Inniskillin’s high quality standards of desired sugar levels and well-balanced acidities. At pressing, precious little concentrated juice is extracted from each bunch, roughly 10% of an autumn harvest yield, which contributes to Icewine being a unique and highly sought specialty product.
Pears beautifully with a variety of desserts including lemon tart, key lime pie, and cheesecake.
Varietals: 100% Riesling
Wine Alcohol: 9.5%
Titratable Acidity: 10.2 g/L
Residual Sugar: 219 g/L