Published: JANUARY 23, 2013
BY Jancis Robinson, Fine Wine Writing & Reviews
“I was recently sent 50 of Canada’s best wines, from four provinces, in order to bring me up to date on the progress that has been made in recent years in the country’s vineyards and cellars. A significant proportion of my favourites were grown in the stunning Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, shown here in summer. You can read my impressions of it on my visit there in 2009 here.
I did find them extremely varied in both style and quality but, as you can see, the best wines were pretty impressive, even if there were a few stragglers at the bottom. The notes below are listed in declining score order within colour and I’ll be publishing an overview on Saturday. Alas, Thirteenth Street’s Home Vineyard Sparkling Chenin Blanc 2009 Niagara Peninsula seems to have escaped my note-taking, but as you can see I was pretty impressed by the same producer’s Grande Cuvée Blanc de Noirs 2006. Henry of Pelham, Icewine Riesling 2010 Short Hills Bench 15.5 Drink 2012-2015 Tastes like a rather simple Auslese. Not enough tension or concentration. Sweet apple juice with just a little chew on the finish. 10.5% Henry of Pelham, Speck Family Reserve Chardonnay 2010 Short Hills Bench 16 Drink 2012-2015 Pale gold. The nose is quite exceptionally ‘mineral’! And there is nice tightness of texture but the overall palate impression is a tiny bit too sweet. Stone fruit flavours. Very good effort. Good tension. Nothing too faked up about this wine. 13.5%”