2022 Inniskillin “Discovery Series” P3, Niagara Peninsula VQA, Ontario, Canada (Alcohol 13.5%, Residual Sugar 4 g/l) Winery/Wine Rack/Online $24.95 (750ml bottle)
Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Petit Verdot make for some odd bedfellows by anyone’s measure, but somehow Inniskillin winemaker Nick Gizuk ensures this quirky blend works rather wonderfully. And Ontario appears to be lapping it up, making it one of the winery’s bigger productions.
I’m thoroughly bemused as to how one should categorize this wine. Is it a rosé or an orange wine? It definitely falls into the “experimental” camp, but why worry about pedantic categorisation when it’s so much fun to drink?
Pouring an attractive salmon pink hue with a hint of orange, the bouquet is most enticing, with loads of pears, apricots, red berry fruits (raspberries and strawberries), and some leesy autolytic notes.
On the palate, some skin contact gives a seriously lovely texture to the wine, but I feel the Pinot Gris component is pulling considerable weight in this area too. The acid profile is fairly juicy, so the creamy texture never feels too much in the mouth, and there’s decent structure here, with a little tannin from the Pinot Noir and Petit Verdot keeping it all in check.
I’d serve this all by itself, and it’s how I enjoyed my first bottle, but I feel it would definitely pair well with fun finger foods/hors d’oeuvres or a cheese platter, before dinner proper. I’d also explore pairing this with sushi, Pad Thai, and sticky Chinese Five Spice Ribs.
For the record, my sample of the 2022 was only recently bottled, and so when I first opened the bottle, it was giving off rather attractive reductive notes, somewhat reminiscent of the ridiculously expensive modelling clay one finds in upmarket toy stores. A few minutes in the glass cleared that up though, which is a pity as I’m rather partial to such aromatics, although I realise they aren’t for everyone.
(Four out of a possible five apples)
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