Pelee Island Winery Part 3

Header-image-StephenBy Robert K. Stephen (CSW)

(KINGSVILLE, ON) – If you saw Pelee Island Winery Part 2, I think it fair to say Pelee Island was sinking fast with its whites. So perhaps, if we start with its Reserve Pinot Noir, we can reverse the free fall.

It certainly has all the right aromas of plastic tubing, sweet red cherry, and raspberry in a bit of a tough boy format. Perhaps it’s a bit tired and frustrated with the LCBO obsession with Niagara wines?

On the palate, just a tad of acidity where one would expect perfect balance with acids and tannins, singing like a city councillor in Windsor about unauthorized expenses with a credit card. Focus above and beyond the acids, there is some testy raspberry, root beer, and cherry battling with an overdone acidity.

Best suited to a tomato salad with some cukes and pecorino cheese. Geez. Are we in a downward spiral here? (Pelee Island Pinot Noir Reserve 2013, VQA Ontario, Pelee Island Winery, 750 mL, 13%, $15.95, Square Media Group Rating 85/100)

The 2013 Sauvignon Blanc is light gold in colour. Instead of the tropical elements one might expect in a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, the aromas here are predominately, pear, apple, and marzipan. And unlike most Sauvignon Blanc’s, there is no zippy acidity.

This Sauv is suffering from a lazy eye. Just a touch of acidity but laced with pear and apple juice. One could almost think this was a un-oaked Chardonnay. (Pelee Island 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, VQA Ontario, Pelee Island Winery, 750 mL, 12.5%, $12.75, Square Media Group Rating 73/100)

It’s hard not to make an approachable wine with Gewürztraminer and Muscat. It’s a brilliant idea for a blend.

On the nose pineapple, pear, lime, and apple. Just the right amount of acidity with some apricot and honey on the palate. A short dilute and unremarkable finish. Would go well with a cheese tortellini in a cheese sauce. (Pelee Island 2013 Traminer Muscat, VQA Ontario, Pelee Island Winery, 750 mL, 13%, $13.95, Square Media Group Rating 84/100)

Pelee Island SeccoSometimes it is so hot you just want something cold and fizzy to tickle and assuage the throat. I have been to the winery on a couple of such hot nights and was greeted with Secco, a Pelee Island sparkling white wine. It was so hot, just about anything with bubbles would do the trick.

The 2012 Secco is totally uncomplicated and perhaps even animalistic as it quenches a big thirst in a simple and gentle manner. No biscuit complicated Champagne method sparkling wine to challenge the taste buds.

This is a great post-gardening wine where you have been slaving all day on Victoria Day week-end, planting away, and just can’t go any further after 7:00 pm, other than to flake out, open a cold bottle of fizzy, and fire up the BBQ.

Secco is indeed simple and pale gold in colour with aromas of baked apple and pear.

On the palate, a bit gingeralish with hints of pear nectar and lemon meringue. Short finish.

At $16 it’s bumping up against French Cremants and Spanish Cavas made in the traditional champagne method. It has a tough battle at this price point. I’d take it down to $11.95 where it has a fighting chance.

It’s simply out of its price league in terms of quality and complexity. (Pelee Island Winery Secco VQA Ontario 2012, Pelee Island Winery, 750 mL, 11%, $15.95, Square Media Group Rating 84/100).

In conclusion, why is Pelee Island afraid of making VQA Lake Erie North Shore wines?

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About the Author

Robert Stephen (CSW)
Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he loves The Square. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."Email Robert Stephen
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