The Canadian wine community honoured its own last weekend at the annual Cuvee awards.Press Release
RED WINE - Sponsored by Scott Laboratories
Pillitteri Estates Winery Cabernet Franc Family Reserve 2002 GOLDThese guys often win for the Franc Reserve. I've tasted earlier vintages and they are spectacular, but $50ish a bottle.
LIMITED EDITION RED WINE - Sponsored by Osprey Media Group
Creekside Estate Winery Reserve Merlot 2002 GOLDHaven't tasted this one, but good for Creekside. I like them, consume their Sauv Blancs by the case and they regularly sell good basic decanters way cheaper than most of the other vineyard retail shops.
WHITE WINE - Sponsored by Scott Laboratories
Peller Estates Winery Andrew Peller Signature Series Chardonnay Sur Lie 2004 GOLDWhen the Hillebrand/Peller monolith opened up the Peller tasting centre a couple of years ago I chalked it up to another mass produced plonk distribution hub, but I ate my words when I did a couple of tastings of their Andrew Peller premium brands. Don't recall tasting the surly chardonnay, but their Francs are amazing. And if you need a general purpose decanter dryer, they have some for 10 bucks.
LIMITED EDITION WHITE WINE - Sponsored by Vines
Niagara College Teaching Winery Chardonnay Warren Classic 2003 GOLDGrrr.. why do I keep forgetting to hit the Teaching winery for a tasting. On my to-do list. Jim Warren is the whore of Niagara, but still have a couple of his co-branded Meritages he did with Daniel Lenko and the Cab Franc he did for Kacaba.
GENERAL LIST RED WINE - Andrew S. Brandt Award
Creekside Estate Winery Cabernet Merlot 2002 GOLD CSPC# 669424SCORE!!!! I acted as a reference for a friend who was job-hunting and when he got hired he bought me a bottle of this. Haven't opened it yet.
GENERAL LIST WHITE WINE - Andrew S. Brandt Award
Colio Estate Wines Estate Pinot Grigio 2004 GOLD CSPC# 503391I never buy these wines because the name reminds me of E.Coli. They need a rebranding in my humble opinion.
SPARKLING - Sponsored by Metro Label
Hillebrand Estates Winery Trius Brut NV GOLDMy go-to sparkler when real Champagne not in the budget. $21-24 average price depending on the province. A tour of the Hillebrand Brut cellar is a must do. Apparently if some act of god scale accident caused all of the stored bottles to break at once, all the carbon dioxide would kill everyone in the building. Neat.
Other Notable Mentions.....
Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery Reserve Baco 2004 GOLDHenry of Phlegm rulz on baco. I still have some old stuff from the mid 90s which might finally be drinkable. Big fan of their Speck Family premium brand and their rosé bubbly.
Vineland Estates Winery Sauvignon Blanc 2004 GOLDI need to check this out. I'm a Creekside fan and have never tasted any other Sauv Blanc nearly as good in Niagara.
Malivoire Wine Company Estate Bottled Gewürztraminer 2004 GOLDNice pick. My sis's favourite Niagara white. Love their pinot gris and Ladybug Rosé too. Check out their Rosemary infused wine syrup.
TONY ASPLER CUVEE AWARD OF EXCELLENCE - Sponsored by Tony
Bill LenkoBill Lenko is my future father-in-law. His son Daniel just doesn't know it yet. Only barrier is that mama Lenko wants his wife to know how to drive a tractor and I'm not sure I have any sensible shoes that are farm-equipment appropriate.
CUVEE GOLD AWARD
Coyote's Run Estate Winery Riesling Icewine 2004Never tried the ice wine, but in the top 3 of my favourite new places (others are Flat Rock and Stratus)
Creekside Estate Winery Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2004Mais oui...
Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery Cuvee Catherine Brut NVAhem.. see above.
Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery Speck Family Reserve Cabernet Merlot 2002Ditto
Mike Weir Estate Winery Cabernet Merlot 2002WTF? Need to check this one out.