Exploring Ontario Wine through Savvy Wine Company

A week and a half ago, I attended Outstanding in Their Fields, the Taste and Buy event hosted by Savvy Wine Company at Ottawa City Hall. It was an opportunity to sample Ontario wine while chatting with winemakers from across the province.

Ottawa City Hall offered a perfect venue for this event. There was live music and an upbeat crowd.  I did not get a chance to stop at every kiosk nor did I sample every bottle but out of the ones I tried, here are a few that stood out.

TRAIL ESTATE WINERY

The wine from Trail Estate offers some of the most distinctive aromas and flavours. I enjoyed the Gewürztraminer and also loved the following: 

TRAIL ESTATE 2017 ORNG

This pale orange coloured wine made from Riesling has aromas of dried orange peel, white floral notes, nutmeg, baking spice, and white pepper. On the palate, it is dry with fresh acidity and flavours of orange zest, lemon, nutmeg and cardamom. The flavours linger. It is unique and delicious.

Wine-Food Pairing: Great on its own. This wine would pair well with a charcuterie board that includes prosciutto, or with mango and ginger Wensleydale cheese served with salty pretzel crackers.

SUE-ANN STAFF ESTATE WINERY

I loved chatting with Sue-Ann Staff. She has so many interesting stories. I discovered that her white wine is named after people and her red wine is named after things. She has this amazing icewine, Howard’s Icewine Vidal 2016, that I totally recommend. For this blog, I’m reviewing the following:

SUE-ANN STAFF 2016 MABLE’S VCR

Made from Viognier, Chardonnay, and Riesling, this lovely White has citrus aromas with candied almond, slight resin, vanilla bean, and white pepper. On the palate it has wonderful acidity, beautiful harmony, and is absolutely delicious.

Wine-Food Pairing: Pair with almond crusted chicken or caesar salad.

SUE-ANN STAFF 2016 THE CHESTNUT TREE CABERNET FRANC

Sue-Ann mentioned that her farm has been in her family for two centuries. Her family told her that one winter when the men were selling apples and pears in England, renegades broke into their farm and stole their goods and left behind a riding crop. Later, the riding crop sprouted roots and grew into a chestnut tree which still stands today.

It turns out that the renegades were Jesse James and his entourage. Jesse James had family in Kitchener and at the time, he was escaping from authorities in the United States. Sue-Ann named her bottle after this amazing family story.

This Cab Franc has concentrated raspberry and black cherry aromas, as well as violet, black pepper, tobacco and spice. The palate follows the nose. It has good body, great acidity with noticeable tannins. This one is a keeper and can be stored for several years. 

Wine-Food Pairing: Pair with a peppered steak, roasted lamb, or spicy sausage penne.

MELDVILLE WINES

It was such a pleasure talking with Derek Barnett. He’s passionate, has a twinkle in his eye, and his love for making wine shines through. I was very impressed with his Syrah, Cabernet Franc, and Pinot Noir. Here’s my review of the later:

MELDVILLE 2017 PINOT NOIR

This garnet-hued Pinot Noir is jammy on the nose with aromas of raspberry and black cherry, and notes of cedar, black licorice, and hints of beeswax. On the palate, it is medium-bodied with fresh acidity and noticeable tannins. The palate follows the nose. It also has a kick of black pepper and a long espresso finish. I would keep this Pinot Noir a few years to let it age, it will just get better with time.

Wine-Food Pairing: This would pair well with a beef roast or with venison.

CASA-DEA ESTATES WINERY

Paul Battilana of Casa-Dea Winery on the right.

It was great chatting with Paul Battilana of Casa-Dea Winery. I love his 2016 Chardonnay Reserve and his Dea’s 2017 Sparkling Rosé. His Cabernet Franc is a great example of the wonderful potential for this grape variety in Prince Edward County.

CASA-DEA 2014 CABERNET FRANC RESERVE

This Cabernet Franc has juicy aromas of raspberry and blackcurrant, along with cedar, violet, and a touch of bell pepper that dissipates quickly. On the palate, it is medium bodied with sour cherry and tart plum flavours, as well as subtle wood notes and espresso at the finish.

Wine-Food Pairing:  Wonderful on its own. This wine would pair well with barbecued pork chops or with baked eggplant parmesan. 

DI PROFIO ESTATE WINES

I only had time to try one bottle at the Di Profio kiosk but I look forward to trying more in the future. I quite enjoyed the one I sampled.

DI PROFIO ESTATE 2015 CABERNET MERLOT

This wine was the most full-bodied Red that I personally sampled during the evening. It is bold yet smooth. On the nose, there is a mix of red and dark berries, predominantly ripe blueberry and raspberry jam, followed by aromas of cedar, vanilla, and milk chocolate. On the palate, the flavours are of dark berries and tart plum with some spicy black pepper and a dark cocoa finish. The acidity is fresh and the tannins are velvety. Delicious!

Wine-Food Pairing: This wine would pair wonderfully with barbecued steak in a Montreal steak spice rub or with dark chocolate.

A FEW OTHER NOTES….

The first wine I sampled at the event was Tawse’s 2016 Spark Limestone Ridge Riesling which was a delicious way to start the evening. Tawse offers many wonderful bottles that I’ve had the pleasure of tasting over the years.

It was nice meeting Micheline and Tim Kuepfer from Broken Stone Winery. They have a beautiful sparkling wine that I will be purchasing called Exuberance Sparkling Riesling. Their Pinot Gris and Cab Franc are also tasty and well made. 

I liked that we had some Ottawa area representation with KIN Vineyards. Their Civil Grit Chardonnay is quite nice. I also liked seeing Karlo Estates who makes a tasty Marquette. You can read my review of their Marquette here.

The event did not only feature wine. There was ciders, spirits, cheese, and chutney. The Rhubarb Raisin Chutney I bought from Top Shelf Preserves was so tasty that my jar is already empty.  Overall, it was a great event hosted by Savvy Wine Company.  I do look forward to the next one.

 

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