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Had this wine last night with a chocolate dessert at Green Gables (fixed menu-just took a guess)

This was my first taste of Ice Wine and I must say I was very impressed with this. Beautiful floral, peachy, orange zest, white fruits and syrupy. Sweet without being overbearing. Nice lively finish. jb Rating 91. This was really a nice treat at the end of a fine meal. My friend picked it up at our local supermarket for $45 for a 375.

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May I suggest the Sparkling Version of the Inniskillin Ice Wine? This is unique and it throws very pleasantly your taste buds for a spin. All the attributes mentioned in this posting plus xtra fine bubbles. Let's not forget the confusion about stemware. SHould I drink in champagne flutes or nice Sauterne glasses? In my opinion skip the flute, you want to pick up the nose of this hybrid. In any case, this and some fresh foie gras sauteed in butter and raisins is an awesome combination.

Great suggestion. Send me a bottle. [Wink]

I drank this out of champagne flutes. I brought my own stems to the restaurant. Riedel Vinum Chards and Bordeaux. I felt like I was going on an overnight excursion with all my luggage (stem bag, wine bag and box for the white stems.) I don't own any Sauternes glasses. I don't drink that many sweeties. I thought it tasted great out of the flutes.

jb, Vidal is the coarsest of the ice wine grapes. Gewurtztraminer, Riesling, and Cabernet Franc do much better in Niagara and NY. I have tasted virtually all of the ice wines made in Niagara in the last 5 years in my repeated trips. The best ice wines of all are the Rieslings and Scheurebes of Germany. Someone mentioned Austria too a while back, but I've never had an Austrian Ice Wine.

Vidal is heavy and cloying, unidimensional, lacking the necessary acidity and crispness for true balance. It's the reason Vidal is also the cheapest of all ice wine varietals, that and the large supply from prolific vines.
When I first had the Inniskillin Vidal Ice Wine, I thought it was fabulous. Then, when I tried it side by side with the Riesling, I realized how much better -- more structured, complex, intense, and balanced -- the Riesling was.
With respect to the sparkling ice wine -- I've had this, too, and it was interesting. But one of the things I like about ice wine is the incredibly unctuous texture, and I tfound that the bubbles make it difficult to really enjoy that component...
Very well-spoken, bf.

jb, I didn't mean to rain on your parade, just giving my honest opinion the way I'd expect you to do for me. I'd bring a bottle or two to the 9/28 dinner, but there'll be too many people for it to go around. Sometime, if we have a small group, I'll bring the Vineland Estates Cabernet Franc Ice Wine ($75 Cdn at the winery). It's the best non-German I've ever had, but the Germans do it best. We're meeting Corkage and Mrs. Corkage in Virginia and I'm bringing a Scheurebe Eiswein.
Board-O -- Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to try the Vineland Estates version when I was up there a few weeks ago. But I did have the Jackson-Triggs Cab Franc Icewine. It had amazing, explosive aromas of strawberries and raspberries and enough acidity to balance the jammy sweetness on the palate, so it wasn't at all cloying. I thought it was really a great wine and it retails for about the same $75CAN... Did you get a chance to try it? If so, how does it compare with the Vineland Estates?
jb: didn't you get a snort of either the Hot Ice icewine or the Ambrosia icewine on June 15? I think the Queen lost a few nosehairs just inhaling the Hot Ice, never mind tasting it! [Eek!] Does this mean that you might be making a trip thisaways to try lots of other Niagara icewines (a la Board-O)? If so, please let us know!

[ 07-10-2002, 10:09 PM: Message edited by: bman ]
The only ice wines I've tried are from Mission Hill. I've had their Chardonnay and Riesling Ice wines. My neighbor has a bottle of their Vidal, and I told him I've never even heard of Vidal. Is this a grape used in some German ice wines? I love drinking white dessert wines with friends who have never tried them. They are a unique treat.
Sorry about that last one, a little slippery on the "enter" button.

Joseph Phelps' "eisrebe" is worth a try if you liked the inniskillin. I've had the 1998, 1999, and I have a bottle of 2000 stored away. It's pretty widely available and about $15-20 per 375. Not a true icewine, since they actually freeze the grapes artificially, but still attains some of the qualities of the inniskillin, which I've had on a few occasions. Maybe not as syrupy, but a good value. It's hard to justify $50 for a 375 of inniskillin.

Vidal is a French hybrid aka Vidal Blanc or Vidal 256.
Its slow, steady ripening and thick skins are well suited for (Canadian) winter hardiness, and make it paricularily suitable for sweet, late harvest (non-botrytized) ice wine.
However, it is said that Vidal-based wines do not have the quality or longevity of Reislings.
Vino Me, we stayed at Inn on the Twenty, a beautiful inn right at Cave aSpriungs Cellars. We had a private tasting with Brian Kelly, Cave Springs' wine consultant and tasted all their ice wines currently available for sale.

I just dug out my notes. The dry wines, like virtually all dry wines from Canada are not worth drinking. They're thin and uncomplicated, with no richeness or complexity. As for the ice wines, you hit the jackpot with the '98 Riesling. It was by far the best available from Cave Springs. My notes:

"Nose of raisins and spice. Beautifully balanced. 94 points."

None of the others rated over an 89. Sorry for the short notes, but we tasted hundreds of wines.

for what it's worth, I've had German eisweins made from Riesling, Scheurebe, Huxelrebe, Rieslaner, Sylvaner and even one varietal called Morio-Muskat. Never had a German Vidal eiswein though. In my experience Scheurebe and Riesling are safer bets but I've had some truly outstanding Huxelrebe and Rieslaners as well. In fact the wine that truly made me a wine fanatic was a Huxelrebe Beerenauslese.


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