Inniskillin has become synonymous with Canadian Ice Wine and a common find on the shelves of travel retailers around the world. A sweet and sticky dessert wine, ice wine is a little different to the more common dessert wine style, such as those found in France’s Sauternes wines, which has been produced with the natural occurrence of botrytis cinerea in the vineyard.
Ice wine is a speciality of wine regions where the vineyards freeze during harsh winters in countries such as Austria, German and Canada. Here, the grapes are left on the vine to reach maximum ripeness into the winter months. If all goes well, and some vintages they do not, the right sub-zero conditions mean that the water inside the grapes freeze leaving the sugars liquid enough that when pressed the frozen water is left with the skins and stalks and the sugars run free. The 2014 vintage was harvested at -10oC.
The result is an unctuous dessert wine with a purity to the grape flavours, whereas, botrytis leaves its distinctive marmalade character. Both are simply wonderful when vintage conditions are bounteous. Some producers in countries such as Australia, try to replicate the process by freezing grapes, and maybe in years to come these wines will show the quality of the authentically produced wines.
This particular ice wine has a sparkling personality as well as a sweet one. Although, the nature of these bubbles is more frothy than a fine mousse. It has all the traits of its still version in the sumptuous, honeyed peach and citrus fruit that dips into more tropical ripeness on the palate.
The tasting notes state that the bubbles cut through the sweetness of the 275 grams/litre of residual sugar in this wine. However, I found that the frothiness did not really have the cut through to lighten the unctuous texture of this wine much at all. Rather, I felt that it retained the rich sticky sweetness, just with frothy bubbles as well. A little confusing on the palate with a tendency to overwhelm, but I am sure that it would still go with a citron tart or maybe a bread and butter pudding, as well as the winemaker’s recommendation of foie gras.
Quickie review «A frothy, honeyed peach, citrus wine that is not going to please all sticky lovers.»
Country of Origin: Canada
Tasting Date: January 2018
Price: CAD80 GBP48│CAD80 AUD133+
Needs food: yes