Three From CREW

Stephen-CSW-HeaderIt’s been too long since these lips savoured some of CREW’s wines. Lake Erie North Shore wines are rarely featured by the LCBO in its bi-monthly releases. Niagara rules the roost.

CREW generously supplied me with some wines to review. A rarity for the tight fisted Lake Erie North Shore wineries.

Meritage is a red blend of 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Nuanced and smokey red cherries, red plum, cocoa powder, and red currants. The Merlot gives the wine a bright, cheerful, and juicy nose.

On the palate, the smoke continues with a happy, smiling cherry feature underpinned by a solid, but respectful to the Merlot, frame. One could almost detect a note of chocolate milkshake.

Don’t let any of my adjectives fool you. This is a serious mid-weight wine that can stare down any Niagara wine and walk away with pride.

I will not disagree with the fact sheet for the wine which states, “Pair with rich meals including tomato based sauces, braised beef rib and beef stews.”

I’d love to pair this with a Tuscan-style wild boar sauce over pasta.

I thought the price was a tad high but it’s worth every penny.

Good until 2021.

(Meritage 2013, VQA Lake Erie North Shore VQA, Colchester Ridge Estate Winery, Harrow, Ontario, 750 mL, 13.8%, $19.95, Square Media Group Rating 94/100)

The 2015 Chardonnay is a light golden color. Gentle aroma of apple, pear, melon, pineapple, and nougat.

Very mellow on the palate, with notes of almonds, peach, melon, and pineapple, all with a short finish.

Due to a lack of acidity, I would categorize this as quaffable on its own or accompanied by a Boston lettuce salad with a very light dressing.

A simple and clean Chardonnay great for a Sunday brunch. Do not serve too chilled as it loses its character. 370 cases made.

(Chardonnay 2015, VQA Ontario, Colchester Ridge Estate Winery, Harrow, Ontario, 750 mL, 13.4%, $12.95, Square Media Group Rating 87/100)

Now we turn to the Flagship Chardonnay. Flagship would denote the best Chardonnay CREW has to offer. Only 96 cases were made.

Medium gold in colour, it has a nose permeated with pineapple upside down cake, German nougat, apple, pear, and custard.

On the palate, more umph than the regular Chardonnay, so it can stand up to food. Very fine seam of acidity with notes of vanilla wafer cookies, lychees, and premium vanilla ice cream.

A clingy finish hangs about like a shy girl clutching her mother’s dress at first day of Grade 1.

Good for 2-3 years. I’ll go with food matching on CREW’s fact sheet. “Pair with medium weighted meats (poultry, meaty fish, pork, veal), cream based sauces, gouda or firm cheeses without tang.”

(Flagship 2015 Chardonnay, VQA Lake Erie North Shore, Colchester Ridge Estate Winery, Harrow, Ontario, 750 mL, 13.6%, $19.95, Square Media Group Rating 91/100)

If you’re interested in ordering these wines, go to the CREW website for further details. Note that you can use Costco gift certificates to reduce your wine cost by 20%.

For details on Costco wine certificates click here.

CREW wine store

The CREW wine store in Harrow, Ontario.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

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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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