Today I was given a great opportunity to taste a 375ml bottle of Inniskillin 2007 Riesling Ice Wine (Niagara Peninsula VQA). I’m a huge fan of ice wines and this Canadian bottle has been tempting me to open it for almost a week and I couldn’t wait any longer.
The 2007 Inniskillin Riesling pours a rich golden “apple juice” style coloring. I can smell the sweetness before even putting the glass to my nose. For those that don’t already know, an ice wine is a sweet desert wine made from grapes pressed after the first frost. This causes the wine to become extremely concentrated in sweet taste and maintains a fairly high cost as it’s difficult for vineyards to be given the perfect opportunity to harvest an ice wine; conditions must be favorable and frosty.
The nose of the ice wine is sweet and rich with a huge delicious factor; you want to stuff your nose right in and enjoy all its flavors. But, resisting a nose dipping, I continued to look for some scents past that of the sweetness. I found some juicy sugary apple cider notes with a mixing of pear and apricots but it was difficult to get past the sweets.
To the tongue, Inniskillin’s 2007 Riesling has a super sweet attack on the tongue with a thick and smooth viscosity. The mid-palate transition continues the sweet cider with a subtle citrus and lime flavoring. The finish is the most complex of tastes, while there is a slight ‘heat’ from the alcohols (even when chilled) the tail end contains a good bite of sour apples with lingering lime. The sweetness follows into the finish but balances with the bite adding a great elegance to the end of the sip.
The complex finish makes you savor for a second sip, then a third and a fourth leading you to an empty glass. Some ice wine varieties have a super sweet finish which leaves you wondering what else it brings to the table. No doubt, this wine brings a lot more sweetness and deliciousness above-and-beyond other brands that I’ve tasted but the additional flavors give you something to look for in the sip beyond sugar.
The Inniskillin 2007 Riesling Ice Wine isn’t cheap, you’ll probably find a 375ml bottle in the range of USD $60 to USD $80 but ice wine lovers won’t blink at the cost, considering it’s not unusual to spend USD $50+ for a good Canadian ice wine and usually more for a German Eiswein.