JULIAN HITNER TORONTO WINE CONSULTANT

"For love of everything that is wine"

WINES OF THE WEEK FOR SATURDAY, MARCH 24, 2007

FINE CANADIAN ITEMS:

This has been a long time coming, but it seems at last that the wine industry in Canada has begun to come of age. These days, there are all sorts of interesting items coming out of both Niagara in southern Ontario and the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. This week, I do urge all readers to seek out these delightful Canadian items that have really earned my attention.

RED WINES

(1) Niagara Teaching Winery (NCT)
      -Niagara, Canada
      -Pinot Noir
      -Vintage 2004 (sold out at
       the winery)

      -PRICE: $21.95

      -8.25/10



COMMENT: For the past several years, the winemaker at this increasingly-well-known instructional winery has been producing some astonishingly-fine Pinot Noir. The 2004, though sold out at the 'campus store,' boasts excellent plumy fruit (along with a few berries) and overall character. If you happen to have a friend who owns a bottle, encourage him/her to open it up an share it with you! IMPORTANT NOTE: the 2005 vintage is also supposed to be pretty good.

PAIRING SUGGESTION: Pork tenderloin with roasted vegetables --- enjoy!

(2) Jackson-Triggs
      -Okanagan Valley, Canada
      -Shiraz ('Proprietor's Grand Reserve')
      -Vintage 2004
      -PRICE: $30.00 (approximately)
      -8.5/10



COMMENT: Earning numerous awards worldwide (including the highly-prestigious INternational Wine and Spirits Competiton in London, England), this gem from Jackson-Triggs – an estate which, in my opinion, produces more overrated stuff than actually decent items – went all out in 2004 to create something quite special in the realm of premium Shiraz. Notably dense-yet-complex, this wine boasts much in the way of unique character, and ought to be treated with the respect it deserves.

PAIRING SUGGESTION: Wild game in a high-grade mustard-based sauce --- enjoy!

WHITE WINES

(1) Henry of Pelham
      -Niagara, Canada
      -Sparkling wine
('Cuvée Catherine')
      -NV (non-vintage)
      -L.C.B.O. PRICE: $30.15
      -8.5/10



COMMENT: I forget if I have recommended this wine in ther past; either way, I see no reason not to include it as one of Canada's greatest sparkling wines, tasting more like an actual premium-quality Champagne than a so-called 'New World knockoff.' Featuring delicate scents of toasted nuts and fresh pears, this is a very rich style of sparkling wine, often reminding one, quite possibly, of a Veuve Clicquot. For $30.15, this is a bargain for true enthusiasts of sparkling wine.

PAIRING SUGGESTION: Caviar with unsalted crackers --- enjoy!

(2) Château des Charmes
      -Niagara, Canada
      -Late Harvest Riesling
      -Vintage 2005
      -
L.C.B.O. PRICE: $20.15
      -8.25/10



COMMENT: Year after year, this particular dessert wine ranks as one of my most favourite 'stickies.' Well-priced, it usually reminds me a high-end German sweet wine from the Pfalz, containing light-lemony notes and delicate overtones of temperate fruit. This wine also seems to age remarkably well; in my cellar, I have several bottles of the 2000 vintage that still taste notably youthful.

PAIRING SUGGESTION: Medium-strong cheese --- enjoy!

ANY QUESTIONS?

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