Niagara Wine Reviews

Weir’s label continues to produce masterful wines

WHAT: Mike Weir Wine
WHERE: Wines are now being made at Chateau des Charmes in Niagara-on- the-Lake. Previously made at Creekside.
SPECIALITIES: Only four wines are made under the Mike Weir label: Pinot Noir, Cabernet Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
MUST TRY: The Cabernet Merlot is a consistent crowd pleaser and always seems to be available at the best golf courses in the country as well as in every province in Canada.
AVAILABILITY: Website, Vintages. 


By Rick VanSickle

It’s hard to imagine a better ambassador for the wines of Niagara than PGA tour player and Masters champion Mike Weir. 
 His wine label, which he personally promotes wherever he travels, is both a sense of pride for Weir and also a lucrative money-maker for his charitable Mike Weir 
 Foundation, which was set up in 2004 by him and his wife Bricia to assist children in physical, emotional and financial need. A percentage of each bottle sold goes to support this very worthy cause.

Weir wines caught on quickly with wine lovers who instantly fell in love with the easy-going yet elegant style of the wines. Judicious use of oak and top quality estate grapes have defined Weir wines even after a transition from the winemaking at Creekside winery over to Chateau des Charmes earlier this year. 
 Weir has managed in a few short years to get annual case production increased to 30,000 with two of the wines — the Chardonnay and Cabernet Merlot — available in every province in Canada.

Weir also announced earlier this year a partnership to build a Mike Weir winery adjacent to the top-notch Niagara Parks Commission Whirlpool Golf Course along the Niagara Parkway. 
 Along with dramatic changes came a new marketing agreement with global wine and spirits leader Diageo Brands to help sell and market the Weir label that is poised to grow to even greater heights. But you wonder if Weir needs any help selling his wines.

This summer alone Weir, along with president of Weir Wines, Barry Katzman, travelled to Quebec City for the Telus Skins Game where the brand was the official wine sponsor and followed that up with more sponsorships at the RBC Canadian Open and the inaugural Mike Weir Celebrity Golf Classic where celebrities such as Kevin Costner and Michael Jordan sipped on Weir’s wines and helped raise $350,000 for his charity.

Later this summer, Weir is off to the Mike Weir Miracle Golf Drive in Halifax and then will be the official winery for the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival in September. 
 And Weir does all that while trying to compete and win on the PGA tour, taking on the world’s best golfers.

Mike Weir Wine has just released its new 2008 Sauvignon Blanc, available only online and at select restaurants. Here’s a review of that and another look at the Cabernet Merlot and Chardonnay, both of which are still available at Vintages or the website.

Mike Weir Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2008 ($16 web only) — A zesty nose of grapefruit and lime. It’s fresh in the mouth with rich fruits and just a pinch of oak to round out the palate. A beautifully balanced wine that you can drink all day long.

Mike Weir Estate Cabernet Merlot 2007 ($19, Vintages, web) — This just keeps on getting better with time. Rich raspberry, wildberry, plum aromas. It’s smooth and lush on the palate with layered fruits, toasted oak, spice and herbs. A well-integrated wine with a lovely finish.

Mike Weir Estate Chardonnay 2007 ($15 Vintages, web) — From the first vintage being made by Chateau des Charmes (formerly made at Creekside) is this pretty offering. A refined, creamy nose of pear and vanilla. It’s an oak-laden style that shows butterscotch and pear flavours with just a hint of citrus and hazelnut.