Here’s what’s inside September’s Toronto Life Wine Club box
In this month’s delivery: a crisp riesling, a bold cabernet franc and an aromatic gewürztraminer-mead (yes, mead!) blend from Rosewood Estates Winery in Beamsville. Orders must be placed by Sept. 25.
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2018 Mead Blanc
Why we’re into this wine: A fun fact about Rosewood Estates is that they tend an apiary on the vineyard and produce mead, a fermented honey beverage, alongside their wine. The close proximity of the bees often adds natural floral and nuanced honey notes to the wines. It also opens up new possibilities in blending, such as this beautiful marriage of aromatic gewürztraminer grapes and estate honey fermented together. This unique and delicate wine is a sipper worthy of much buzz. (And keep your eye out for a little pot of Rosewood’s honey included in each box.)
What it tastes like: With honey as an ingredient, you might expect it to be overly sweet, but it’s only slightly off-dry thanks to the balancing acidity. A nose of orange blossom, wildflowers and lime leads to orange citrus and subtle hints of tropical fruit on the palate. Fresh and wonderfully balanced, this wine leaves a sumptuous, lingering aftertaste.
How to drink it: An incredibly versatile wine that is best served chilled as an apéritif or with spicy Asian cuisine, cheese boards or fresh oysters on the half shell.
2017 Riesling AF
Why we’re into this wine: While the subtle notes of white flowers, citrus, and petrol are typical of a Niagara riesling, there is much more to this wine on the palate. Fermentation was stopped halfway through (the AF stands for arrested fermentation) and wild yeast was added for the remainder of the fermentation process. This natural yeast imbues the wine with earthy flavours that distinguishes it from other expressions of the same varietal.
What it tastes like: This is a dry riesling with racy acidity that pops on the palate. Rich flavours of apricot and nuts with yellow plum, citrus, and tart granny smith apple are evident, and limestone notes of rock and flint denote the wine’s escarpment terroir.
How to drink it: This is a wine made for canapés and brunch: goat cheese puffs, bacon-wrapped asparagus, mini quiches and eggs Benedict will pair nicely.
2016 Cabernet Franc
Why we’re into this wine: Cabernet franc has long been a top performer in the Niagara region, but expressions like this one raise the bar even higher on quality and character. Wild yeast was used throughout fermentation. After 18 months of aging in French oak barrels, the wine headed straight for the bottle without fining or filtration. This is as natural as it gets, which allows the boldness of the ripe fruit and spice to emerge fully and exquisitely.
What it tastes like: Gorgeous black fruit and spice–black cherry jam, black licorice, black pepper–with subtle green herbal notes and wisps of cigar smoke. Noticeable tannins will be tempered with robust food pairings particularly barbecued meats.
How to drink it: Decant if you’re enjoying it immediately, or cellar for two to three years. Best enjoyed outside on a warm fall evening with barbecued fare, smoked cheeses or wood-fired funghi pizza.