niagara wine

A pair of high-scoring Rieslings lead off our recommendations from the Niagara wines being released Saturday at Vintages.

It’s another large selection of Canadian wines, part of the LCBO’s efforts to highlight our nation’s wine in this 150th year of Canada being a country.

Here’s what we can recommend.

Chateau des Charmes Old Vines Riesling 2014 ($19, 91 points) — Riesling was one of the first varieties planted at the St. David’s estate by Paul Bosc in 1978 and the original block is still producing excellent fruit. This wine is made from the older, more mature vines in the original vineyard. Such a lovely rendition of Riesling with a nose of Meyer lemon, lime, grapefruit, flinty minerality and just a hint of white peach. There is some honey sweetness on the palate, but it’s brilliantly balanced by racy acidity. Look for lemon, flint, lime and a touch of ginger that’s ready to drink now or hold a few years for further development and see where it goes. Classic Niagara Riesling.

Redstone Limestone Vineyard South Riesling 2013 ($20, 91 points) – Lovely aromatics of Mandarin orange, lemon-lime zest and just a touch of petrol combine in this outstanding example from the Bench. Tropical notes together with vibrant acidity and focused minerality make this wine a sheer joy to sip. Pair with grilled shrimp or scallops and tropical fruit salsa. (Michael Lowe review)

Ontario wineFlat Rock Unplugged Chardonnay 2015 ($18, 88 points) — This straightforward, clean expression of chard is delightful. Tart green apple, ripe pear and lemony accents lead to a fresh acidic backbone that is held in check by some time on the lees, adding weight on the palate. I paired it with smoked salmon, black garlic mascarpone cream, capers and fresh dill — it just works! (Michael Lowe review)

Best Niagara wine

Featherstone Rosé 2016 ($16, 87 points) — The blend is Gamay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir with a highly perfumed nose of cherries, strawberries and watermelon. It’s relatively dry on the palate with ripe red berries all lifted by good acidity. This is not a shy Rosé, but that’s the style Featherstone likes.

Also released Saturday, but not reviewed:

• Riverview Cellars Vidal Icewine 2015 ($50 for 375 mL)
• Marquis Silver Line Blanc de Noirs Ice Rosé Sparkling ($30)
• Rockway Pinot Noir 2014 ($20)
• Wildass Red 2013 ($20)
• Game Changer Rosé The Castaway 2016 ($15)

From B.C.

• Mission Hill Chardonnay Reserve ($24)
• Osoyoos Larose Petales D’Osoyoos Red 2013 ($29)