In the first of a two part series, produced at Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Two Sisters Vineyards, Zoltan Szabo chats with winemaker Adam Pearce and tastes the winery’s 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon in the video below. After we shot the video, Zoltan and I sat down to at the in-house restaurant, Kitchen 76, for lunch with Pearce and the wineries owners, the eponomous sisters Angela Marotta and Melissa Marotta-Paolicelli. (Watch for Zoltan’s interview with the sisters, and a description of the lunch, winery and restaurant next week at GFR.) Over lunch, we tasted through a series wines: Zoltan’s notes are below.
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Zoltan Szabo’s Tasting Notes…
Two Sisters Vineyards, Niagara-on-the-Lake, August 7, 2015.
2012 Cabernet Sauvignon
Fruit sourced from Niagara River estate vineyards; blueberry, plums, potpourri, warm spice and forest floor; full-bodied, but not heavy, juicy acidity carries its weight, with plush tannins adding structure; there’s something old school about it, in a good way, it possesses charm and allure; to be released soon (check the Two Sisters’ website here);
2013 Sauvignon Blanc
Pink grapefruit, fresh basil and “funk” (read: minerals, riverbed stone, seashore); light and crisp, with good flavour intensity and length; grapes come from Lincoln Lakeshore sub-appellation; an ideal pairing with fresh mozzarella di bufala, olive oil, tomato and basil;
The famed Foxcroft vineyard provides the grapes for this classic Niagara Riesling, with its 16 grams / liter residual sugar balanced by zesty acidity; the perfect lunch Riesling, you can have two bottles and still look smart at afternoon’s meetings, 10.6% abv here, it’s tasty and easily gulpable; try it with fish carpaccio, or, spicy Italian sausage and cabbage stew;
Exotic, intriguing, with St. David’s typically tropically nuances, pineapple, mango, as well as savoury honey, white blossoms and menthol; medium to full – weight, round and succulent, with firm acidity and vanilla caramel, toffee notes on the lingering finish; I really like it; try it with meaty, larger – size West Coast oyster, add a couple of droplets of spicy mignonette, or, whole-grilled spigola with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and lemon;
This is an elegant, fresh and silky Merlot, with seriously appealing inner – mouth florality and long finish; there are black truffle, violet and pipe tobacco accents in the background; cool sites in the Niagara River sub – appellation provide the grapes; I had it with the rabbit pappardelle and the pairing was spot on, although this fine wine would work with rare rack of lamb lamb, or, venison as well;
2010 Cabernet Franc
Yes another wonderful red, with black cherry, spicy – herbaceous, sandalwood and gamey aroma and flavour composition; full and velvety with a pleasantly warm finish; it would work well with classic mushroom risotto with parmigiano-reggiano shavings, or, ragu di cinghiale;
2011 Eleventh Post
This is a Cab Franc-based meritage, with plenty of fruit and flesh; blueberry, cranberries, earthy and musky nuances and admirable freshness knitted together in a gentle tannic frame;
We also tasted the 2013 Cabernet Franc from a barrel sample) and it’s already showing some magic: lean and vibrant, floral and earthy in the same time, with neat wet graphite-mineral accents like a good Saumur-Champigny.
Keep track of what Zoltan’s up to and tasting on Twitter at @ZoltanSzabo.