Maker: Pelee Island, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Place of origin: Ontario VQA.
Purchased for $13 (Hollywood Market, Madison Heights)
Other information: Residual sugar: 36.1 g/ltr. Harvested at 23.1 Brix.
Appearance: Golden straw with thick, even legs and a few crystals.
Nose: Thyme, cut white peach, Bartlett pear, lychee, whiff of gasoline.
Palate: Full bodied. Lychee, oregano, Meyer lemon, mango, orange marmalade.
Finish: Peachy and sweet. Lasts a long time before fading into herbal flavors.
Parting words: I was pleasantly surprised by this wine. The last Pelee Island wine I had was the crummy Pinot Noir I reviewed a few months ago. This wine was on sale and from a good white vintage in Michigan, so I figured it was probably a good one in Ontario too so it was worth a try.
It’s an Ontario VQA (as opposed to Pelee Island) so one probably wouldn’t expect much in the way of terroir influence, but there is some broad terroir character. The time in the bottle has benefited it greatly as well. It is rich and sweet but still carries a lot of typically dry flavors and aromas. This is a very good wine for a reasonable price. Pelee Island Winery Late Harvest Riesling, 2011 is recommended.
Maker: Pelee Island Winery, Kingsville, Ontario, Canada
Place of origin: Pelee Island VQA
Purchased for $13 (Northwood Market)
Appearance: Dark plum.
Nose: Blackberry, blueberry, dried tobacco, strawberry.
Palate: Blueberry, black raspberry, strawberry, leather.
Finish: Very mild then fades into a strong bitter flavor.
Parting words: I reviewed the 2007 vintage way back in 2011 and I liked it. It was a fine, table-grade Pinot. This is certainly table-grade but not fine. The soapy, bitter finish ruins a decent (though clunky) wine. It fares a little better chilled but not much. Pelee Island has been in the game for a long time. Surely they can pull of something better than this mess. I wish I had a better review for Canada Day, but this vintage of Pelee Island Pinot Noir is not recommended.
Maker: Pelee Island, Kingsville, Ontario, Canada.
Grapes: Cabernet Franc, Baco Noir, Chambourcin.
Place of origin: Ontario VQA, Canada
Appearance: Dark crimson.
Nose: Blueberry jam, oak, hint of cedar, black pepper and allspice.
On the palate: Medium bodied. Wild blackberries, prunes, cherry juice, mace, toasted oak.
Finish: A little chewy and drying. Nicely balanced between fruit and wood.
Parting words: When I was at Pelee Island Winery last summer Eco Trail Red was by far the best red wine I tasted that day. They sell a bewildering number of different wines and as one would expect the whites are better on the whole than the reds. That said, some of their reds are very enjoyable and they’re not always the most expensive ones. This wine is a prime example of that.
Eco Trail is an excellent table wine in the best sense of the term, i.e. a wine to drink with a meal. The Cab Franc takes the lead and the two hybrids round it out nicely. It’s affordable and doesn’t need more than a year or two in the bottle to blossom. I have never seen it for sale in the US, or even anywhere else in Canada other than the winery shop. If you are in Ontario and happen to be driving by Kingsville on the north coast of Lake Erie, stop in and pick up a bottle. Eco Trail Red is recommended.
Maker: Pelee Island Winery
Place of origin: Pelee Island VQA, Ontario, Canda
Style: Late Harvest
Appearance: Light gold with thick, sparse legs.
Nose: Dry and mild. Light smoke, heirloom apples.
On the palate: Medium bodied. Slightly smokey and oaky. A bit of fruit with lychee and dry apple cider.
Finish: Woody and smoky but well balanced.
Parting Words: I was pleasantly surprised by this wine. The smoke (and spelling) of this wine invoke Alsace, but it’s drier with less fruit than most Alsatian Pinot Gris I’ve had, belying its late harvest status.
After tasting a couple of Pelee Island’s high end wines on my last trip to their tasting room (in Kingsville, not on the island itself) I had low expectations for this one. But this Pinot Gris is top notch.
Maker: Pelee Island, Kingsville, Ontario, Canada
Gapes: Gewurztraminer (50%), Riesling (50%)
Region: Ontario VQA, Canada
Appearance: Light gold. Thick, sticky robe.
Nose: Ripe peaches, tangerine, coriander, pineapple
On the palate: Medium-bodied & fairly dry. Lemon thyme, Meyer lemon, white pepper.
Finish: slightly citric & vegetal. fades fairly quickly.
Parting words: Umbrella Gewurztraminer-Riesling is a relative newcomer to the Pelee Island stable, but it’s a very good one. Both these grapes do very well in NE wine belt stretching from Michigan’s west coast through southern Ontario into upstate New York. The mix of grapes may bring Alsace to mind, but this wine is all North American on the palate and in the nose. Crisp peach and citrus notes make this a very refreshing drink when chilled, but one with enough interest to appeal to serious wine lovers, at least ones that aren’t put off by the very concept of Canadian wine. If they are, that’s more for you! Umbrella Gewurztraminer-Riesling is recommended.