Below is a review of the three wines that really stood out … I skipped over the 2006 Sussreserve Riesling ($13.95 – winery and LCBO) because I have previously reviewed it.
The evening began with the pouring of an ’04 Old Vines Chardonnay ($23.95 – winery & LCBO) a lush, buttery number that had lots of tropical fruit on the nose, including banana and pineapple … the banana continues onto the palate along with some vanilla-butteryness. Good value for this elegant and highly enjoyable Chardonnay, which I would have expected to pay more for. It was paired alongside a lobster macaroni and cheese.
2005 was good to red grapes in Ontario, they weren’t plentiful in Niagara but they made darn tasty wine – case and point is this 2005 Gamay Noir ($12.95 – winery only). The grapes for this gold medal winning wine (All Canadian Wine Championships 2007) were harvested in Beamsville, stainless steel fermented, and finally oak-aged in large (500L) French barrels for only 2 months. The result is a wine that has typical Gamay characteristics, namely red berries – and lots of it … but the oaking gives it a little heft and some peppery spiciness. A steal for the price and went well with the simple penne pasta with tomato and basil sauce.
Finally, a very simple wine, served with a very simple dessert and yet “divine” seems to be the word to describe it best. My notes had the word “delicious” written 3 times, so I must have liked it. The 2006 Snow Angel ($23.00 – winery only – 750ml … sugar code 5) is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes that were late harvested (after the first frost of the 2006 growing season). The nose is full of raspberry sprinkled with Splenda and yet is delicate in both alcohol and sweetness - well-balanced, so it goes down smooth and easy. Not quite a dessert wine, yet not quite something to serve as aperitif … but quite, what was that word again, oh yes, there it is “delicious”. This wine was paired with fresh Ontario strawberries, but also goes quite well on its own. They have a slogan at Angels Gate, “Devilishly Good Wines” – this one truly is; and when you finish the whole bottle on your own you could say “the devil made me do it” – but instead of practicing the sin of gluttony invite some friends over to share in the fun.