by Zoltan Szabo
2009 ‘The Magician’, Reif Estate, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, $19.95
I taste more and more wines made from dried grapes in Niagara nowadays, this is one of them. An interesting blend of 70% Shiraz and 30% Pinot Noir, grapes were kiln dried for 3 weeks, then crushed and fermented on the skin for 18 days, after pressing was aged for 1 year in 1 year old French barriques. The high-toned bouquet sports a cornucopia of aromas, cherry-kirsch, spice-nutmeg-smoked paprika-white pepper, purple flowers and leather, moist forest floor-tobacco leaf-dust. Medium weight with dried cherry – cranberry flavours, plush texture and 14% alcohol adding pleasant warmth to its bitter chocolate – earthy finish. No lack of acidity – freshness here. A very good food wine, try it with spring lamb and rhubarb stew with cumin – cilantro – cardamom. $19.95 and available from winery only: contact them at reifwinery.com.