Best Ontario vintages of 2006 and 2007

Best Ontario vintages of 2006 and 2007

The rainy 2006 weather produced lean, elegant reds, while the blistering hot summer of 2007 was perfect for bold bottles. Here, the best of both vintages.

Rosewood 2007 Pinot Noir Reserve (Photo by Daniel Shipp) 

CALAMUS 2006 MERITAGE
(Niagara Peninsula)
In tastings at the Ontario Wine Awards, Calamus’s meritage performed like a minor bordeaux, with firm, balanced acidity and tannin. It’s a Niagara red that doesn’t try to be anything else. $21.76. calamuswines.com.

FIELDING 2006 MERITAGE
(Niagara Peninsula)
Fielding builds generous flavours into light, vibrant wines. Its blend of cab sauvignon and merlot combines toasty, smoky, earthy and herbal flavours with currants and raspberry. Elegant, with fine tannin and a long finish. $35.95. fieldingwines.com.

GRANGE OF PRINCE EDWARD 2007 TRUMPOUR’S MILL GAMAY NOIR
(Prince Edward County)
The excellent 2007 conditions added impressive colour to this gamay. Plum and black­currant aromas are framed by cinnamon. Age it another year. $15. grangeofprinceedward.com.

HENRY OF PELHAM 2007 BACO NOIR
(Niagara Peninsula)
One of the best value reds at the LCBO, the Speck brothers’ standby has reached new heights. It exudes lovely aromas of blackberry and beet. $13.95. LCBO 270926.

INNISKILLIN 2007 CABERNET FRANC
(Niagara Peninsula)
Bruce Nicholson’s deft winemaking has fashioned a charming cab france with raspberry and tobacco. $13.50. LCBO 317016.

LAILEY 2007 SYRAH
(Niagara River)
The 2007 vintage produced Niagara’s best syrahs to date. Lailey’s showcases berry notes with pepper and smoked meat that’s typical of French Rhône syrahs. Very even and firm, but not austere; there’s solid fruit and well-integrated tannin. It will bloom with two more years. $25. laileywinery.com.

MALIVOIRE OLD VINE FOCH 2007
(Ontario)
Hybrid marechal foch is a rarity in Niagara, and the Old Vine has long been the best example. The 2007 is bold and exciting. A great nose features smoke, clove, leather and blackberry, with a wonderful wintergreen note.It’s full bodied and elegant. $32. malivoirewineco.com.

PELEE ISLAND 2007 PINOT NOIR RESERVE
(Pelee Island)
The ripeness of the 2007 vintage shows in its deep colour and black cherry notes. Plush, with a volatile, sour edge and fine tannin, it’s filled with oak and vanilla. $14.95. peleeisland.com.

ROSEWOOD 2007 PINOT NOIR RESERVE
(Twenty Mile Bench)
The veteran winemaker Natalie Spytkowsky is winning medals for her new Beamsville winery. The 2007 pinot noir topped its class at the Canadian Wine Awards, and the reserve is even better, with aromatic fireworks of black­currant, cherry, herbs and spicy oak. Great evenness and tension, though a bit warm on the finish. $40. Vintages. LCBO 112177.

TRIUS 2007 RED
(Niagara Peninsula)
For more than 20 years now, Trius has been pioneering a Niagara take on Bordeaux-style red blends; its 2007 is undoubtedly among the best. The balanced blackberry and tobacco nose is nicely integrated with herbs and oaky spice. Dense and elegant, with fine tannin. $21.95. LCBO 303800.