Here’s ten locals that I’d take to my hideaway island.
CHATEAU des CHARMES St. Davids Bench 06 Viognier ($26) – stylish, exotic but in a less is more way. The feeling is spring-like and the flavours are delicate and teasing. Quite hard to describe which is part of its appeal
THIRTY BENCH 07 Riesling Small Lot ‘Triangle Vineyard’ 07 ($30) – steely, elegant and superb. Thirty Bench has some of the oldest Riesling vineyards in Niagara.
MALIVOIRE 06 Gamay ($16.80) – couldn’t be livelier or brighter – so much fun to gulp. There’s nothing like it on the planet. A true local.
TAWSE understated 06 Pinot Noir ($32) would not be out of place in a French restaurant. Lean but characterful.
Another nothing like it in the world wines is SANDSTONE 06 Gamay ($25). Shades of something from the backroads of Italy.
Ann Sperling’s SOUTHBROOK 06 Syrah, Lot 19 ‘Whimsy’ ($28) has deep, peppery flavours and Pinot-style grace and drinkability. I’d put this forward as a role model for Niagara reds.
HILLEBRAND’S Trius Red line has taken a huge leap forward, not only in quality but in local expression. The Trius 05 Cab Franc ($16) has wonderful flavours, vitality and drinkabilty while the 07 Trius Merlot ($16) combines sweet fruit with a tangy, rustic character. Lots of gusto and very local. The 06 Trius Red ($20) offers more complexity but still keeps Niagara’s hallmark – vitality. Hats off to Aussie winemaker Darryl Brooker for raising the quality and crafting truly local wines.
FIELDING 06 Syrah ($27) is another star of this vintage. French-style wine with emphasis on charm.
The LAILEY family were one of the first to plant along the Niagara river and they produce food friendly wines in the mid weight and price range. Such as the characterful 06 Cabernet/Syrah ($25).