Vintages, $16.95: uses exclusively the chardonnay clone 809 (15-year
old vines), an almost in-your-face aromatic honeysuckle beauty with
some "muscat" grapey quality. Unoaked, of course, and refreshing.
12.5%, useful for sipping or with lighter white meats.
2. Chateau des Charmes Cabernet Merlot 2007 VQA NOTL, $14.45 +454991
General List: 13% ABV. Mix of cabernet sauvignon (60%), cabernet franc
(24%) plus merlot (16%) for that cooler climate Bordeaux-style blend.
Nine months in French oak. Expect cassis and bell pepper notes, all in
balance, ready to drink soon.
From Applewood Farm Winery (www.applewoodfarmwinery.com) in Stouffville
(all wines available at the winery):
1. Applewood Farm Winery Trio 2010, $14.95 for 750 mL: a juicy combo of a
third each of raspberry, black currant, and cranberry fruits, featuring both
off-dry and tart flavours, with an SC of 2. Absolutely delicious with the
fruit jumping out at you followed by bracing acidity. Great with savoury
foods. 13% ABV, twistoff-top.
2. Applewood Farm Winery Iced Apple Cider 2010, $19.95 for 375 mL:
incredible richness and tang, with an SC of 25. Created the same way as ice
wine (pressing frozen fruit), this Gold Medal winner comes in a new vintage.
Ready for release now, finished with a cork. Great apple tones.
3. Applewood Farm Winery Crazy Eights Raspberry Cider 2011, $3 for 341 mL
bottle (or $50 for a two-four): this gluten-free alternative to beer hits
the spot, with its rich and ripe raspberry tones. The winery has been making
it every year since 2006. This latest batch from the 2011 harvest is still
8.8% ABV, crown cap, and an SC of one that is barely perceptible. This has
to be my favorite all-time drink. I regularly buy six cases a year, and
always pay for my own tasting sample with a whole bottle. I own no stock,
etc. No conflict-of-interest here. Just value and flavour - something has to
be my fave, and this is it.
4. Applewood Farm Winery Smokin' Apple 2008, $14.95 for 375 mL: a nifty wine
for cooking with apple flavours - iced cider with black pepper and other
savoury spices, some hot, great for BBQs anytime of the year. 12% ABV, and
also available as a Chef Pack (a dozen for $120). Sounds terrific for the
Christmas bird or ham.
5. Applewood Farm Winery Rhubarb and Caramelized Onion Relish (it's almost a
chutney if it had had any raisins). It contains some of the aforementioned
smokin' apple wine, fermented rhubarb, onions, and other condiments. It's a
spread for any BBQ or dinner, not a drink, although I am sure that Matt
Passafiume, winemaker at Applewood, could probably do an alcoholic version.
Maybe next year. $6 for a medium-sized jar.