Some wines recently tasted and sampled --
1.Westcott Vineyards Temperance Red 2020 VQA Vinemount Ridge $19.99 at winery and online: this is a Burgundian passtoutgrain-styled wine which is very popular in France, made from 50% Gamay Noir and 50% Pinot Noir grapes. There is a 30-day maceration, with a stainless steel all wild ferment and malo-lactic fermentation. Very soft, fleshy, fruity, good for the patio/terrace/balcony/porch/deck. It would be excellent with all kinds of soups. 11.5% ABV. Screwcap Closure. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
2.Westcott Vineyards Brilliant Traditional Sparkling 2017 VQA Vinemount Ridge $39.99 at winery and online: this is a still-fresh terrific sparkler done up in the traditional style of long lees contact (three years here), hand riddling, and disgorgement for a secondary fermentation in the bottle. 2250 bottles were produced of this pinot noir (66%) and chardonnay (33%) blend from their own estate in Vinemount Ridge. It's got a complex basket of flavours, ranging from orchard fruit through to citrus, with the lightness of the chardonnay being balanced off against the heavier tones of the pinot noir. It stays this way right from the entry through to the long finish, and the latter makes this a pretty good food wine too. You'll need to put some down for 2025-2027. 12.5% ABV. 8.4g/L residual sugar. Quality/Price rating is 92 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
3.Westcott Vineyards Lillias Unoaked Chardonnay 2020 VQA Niagara Escarpment $24.99 at winery and online: a bright and fresh Chardonnay (two clones used) reflective of the vintage. Stainless tank fermentation and storage with half MLF to soften, and six months lees contact. No oak. Slightly off-dry feel despite 3g/L residual sugar, but a rounded mid-palate. Very stylish with a light lingering finish, great as a non-appetite-provoking aperitif, which makes it a fab cocktail party white wine. Emphasis is on fresh orchard fruit (apples, pears, peaches): it could change over the next two years, which would make it more versatile in being also a first course wine. 13.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
4.Westcott Vineyards Riesling Butler's Grant 2019 VQA Twenty Mile Bench $18.99 at winery or online: a devilishly competent 11% ABV Mosel style and light, formerly offered just to their Wine Club members. Now 550 cases are available to all. Parts of the vineyard were planted in 1980. Perfectly attuned to summer -- this was delicious in that Germanic style, ready for consumption now. And certainly affordable for an "old vines" wine. 8.2g/L residual sugar. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
Westcott Vineyards Delphine Rose 2020 VQA Twenty Mile Bench $18.99 at winery and online: a refreshing blend of cabernet franc (53%) and pinot noir (47%), pressed for six hours skin maceration and then complete malolactic fermentation. Early picking gave it that zesty complexity of red fruit such as strawberries and raspberries and cranberries (aka sunshine in a glass). Screwcap closure. 12% ABV. 8.5g/L residual sugar. A very good wine as an aperitif on the balcony/deck/terrace, etc. And as a first course wine with a spread board (charcuterie, smoked fish, cheese, dried fruits, nuts, et al). Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
5.Westcott Vineyards Pinot Noir Rose 2020 VQA Vinemount Ridge $23.99 at winery and online: two clones of pinot noir (667 and 777) were used from the fabulous Vinemount Ridge vineyard. The fruit, while awesome, is tempered by the higher alcohol of 13.5% ABV and lowered grape sugar of 3g/L. Ontario cranberries are noted as well as raspberries on the nose, followed by a hefty taste sensation on the mid-palate, ending with a rush of balanced tannins on the finish – good for first, second, and third courses. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
6.Peninsula Ridge Estates Winery Sauvignon Blanc 2019 VQA Niagara Peninsula, LCBO and Grocery +53678 $15.95 [LTO $13.95 May 23-June 19]: this is a no brainer choice – a classic savvy that's been made since the winery opened, excellent quality from the renowned A.J. Lepp vineyard (39.5%), Wismer vineyard (20.4%), balance from three others. No oak, of course, with cold fermentation in stainless tanks. Typical MVC aromas of gooseberry and some grass, lemons and long length. This has been a huge seller for Peninsula Ridge, and it goes very well with grilled white meats and grilled veggies. 12% ABV, <3g/L residual sugar. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
7.Peninsula Ridge Estates Winery Beal Vineyard Cabernet Rose 2020 VQA Beamsville Bench, Vintages +177840 $15.95 May 15 release: the Wine Writers' Circle of Canada has had eight annual tastings of Ontario rose wines, and this one from Peninsula Ridge has always been selected in the "Best" category (90+ points) except for one year. So it has a great track record with some wine writers. It's all Cabernet Franc, with short skin contact and long fermentation at low temperatures – always in stainless steel tanks. Red fruit, of course, dominates in a juicy style (but with only 4g/L residual sugar). Typical MVC for Ontario strawberries, red cherries, and cranberries (for that crisp long finish). Best served with decks/terraces/balconies/patios/backyards and sunshine, or with grilled seafood. (Their 2013 vintage rose sold for $11.95). Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.