I was rather intrigued by the name of this wine but, after having a look on-line for an explanation, I am still in the dark as to the inspiration. The bottle simply declares it to be a blend without specifying any varietals, but the vintners website lists the composition as being Merlot 56%, Cabernet Sauvignon 41%, Pinot Noir 2%, Cabernet Franc 1%. The sugar content is quite high but, ultimately, the actual effect is not that sweet…
- Winery: The Malivoire Wine Company
- Price: $15.95 at LCBO
- Alcohol: 12.5%
- Sugar: 13 g/L
The color is a fairly dark cherry red with a faint purple tint. An aromatic nose is dominated by red fruit and ripe dark berries and there is a pleasant sawdust quality with light floral notes and just an ephemeral hint of vanilla. It is medium bodied with a fairly smooth texture and the moderate sweetness is nicely offset by a medium acidity that rises just after the beginning before the nicely smooth and moderate tannins develop. The fruitiness is more sour than is suggested on the nose, having an almost citrusy character, but there is a nice blackcurrant note right at the start. There is a bit of oakiness, and just a hint of spice coming through near the end, but the finish a little short. Still, it is not a bad sipping wine and should appeal to a broad range of tastes and do well as an aperitif.
I picked up this rather oddly named Shitaz at our local Beer and Wine Store here in Iqaluit, which, I have mentioned before, does not have a huge selection. When I got the bottle home, I saw that label describes it as being ‘unoaked’ which I am guessing give rise to the name, possibly? Anyway, it was a bit sweet for my taste, but if you like sweetish wines, you may want to give it a try…
- Winery: Arterra Wines Canada, Inc
- Price: $10.25 at LCBO (I forgot to record the local price)
- Alcohol: 12.5%
- Sugars: 10 g/L
This wine has no vintage on the label and is listed as having been released in 2015. It is a fairly dark cherry red with a slight bluish tint and very clear. The nose is a little muted and has a very nice dominant quality of blackcurrant. There are also notes of grass, bubblegum and just a little spice. It is medium bodied with a smooth mouth feel and a sweetness that would be almost to the point of cloying but for a fairly high acidity that offsets this a bit. It is very fruity, without much in the way of tannins, and is a bit bluntly overdone in overall flavor effect. The fruitiness has a rather artificial quality with candy cotton notes, but there are some grassy, and peppery notes that save it from being too one dimensional. Not bad but not especially good either. My three star rating is a bit grudgingly given.
My database of wine tasting notes includes almost no entries with a 1 star rating… that particular score is pretty much reserved for wines that are undrinkable. Two stars, in contrast, means that a wine is capable of being imbibed without too much agony, but which is not generally worth the money. I don’t give that rating very often either, as it happens, but, unfortunately, that is how I felt about today’s selection. Your mileage may vary…
- Winery: Iniskillin Wines Inc.
- Price: $16.60 CDN
- Alcohol: 13.5%
- Sugar: 3.7 g/L
The color is a medium light ruby and the nose is a muted, but still aromatic, red berry with a little oak and a faint vegetal quality underneath. It is quite light bodied, with moderate to low acidity and little in the way of tannins. The aromatic berries on the nose really don’t come through much in the mouth and there is a forest-floor effect along with a distant hint of dried flowers. The overall effect is a bit flat, except for a tease of spice at the very end, and there is a vague ‘over-cooked’ quality here and there. This would be fine for cooking but I wouldn’t buy it for drinking again.
This Pinot Noir is produced in the Okanagan Valley VQA (Vintner’s Quality Alliance), which is the British Columbia appelation of origin regime. It means that 100% of the grape within the wine in question is grown where indicated on the label. Ontario also has a similar VQA naming system as well. I purchased this bottle at the recently opened wine and beer store here in Iqaluit and was generally pleased with it.
- Winery: Mission Hill Vineyards Inc.
- Price: $17.95 CDN
- Alcohol: 13.8%
- Sugar: 5 g/L
The color of this Pinot Noir is a rather washed out cherry with a slightly less than 100% clarity. The nose is dominated by bright red fruit with an almost jam-like, candied quality, but there is slightly earthy and vegetal undercurrent plus a faint spicy highlight. The body is medium with a smooth texture and the effect is quite dry. The acidity is medium, the tannins understated, and the balance is pretty well-rounded. Red fruit, slightly tart, provide the carrier, and there are notes of jam, leather, and grass. Overall, it is just a bit rough, but still eminently drinkable.