by Zoltan Szabo

I see more and more sports superstars and legendary figures teaming up with local wineries and crafting signature wines such as my two picks below. As with my previous selection from The Great One (see my notes from GFR0307 here), they are all scoring well.

2008 Mike Weir Riesling, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
The fruit for this Riesling comes from Château des Charmes estate vineyards. Deep straw, lemon-lime, green tropical fruits like under-ripe kiwi and pineapple, wet limestone and thyme – infused honey. Ample and juicy over the palate with a good swing of acidity and mineral note balancing its off dry character. Good length with ripe apples and a touch of hazelnut. Drinking well now. Try with grilled chili rubbed pork chops. Just released by Vintages #0229286 $14.95.

2009 Rosewood Estates Johnny Bower Merlot, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario
Rosewood Estates partnered with legendary Toronto Maple Leaf and Stanley Cup winning goalie, Johnny Bower, to craft his signature wine. The grapes come from the Wismer Vineyard in Balls Falls and Renaceau Vineyard in Beamsville Bench. Perfectly ripe fruit, blackberries, plums, oak nuances of toast – smoke; fairly rich and juicy with plush tannins and a very good length. Scores for me, and I am not even a hockey fan. I drank it paired with great steaks cooked over open wood fire at friends’ lush backyard the other night. To be released at the winery on this Sunday, June 5: click here for details, $25 per bottle. Available only at the winery:

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