Volcanic Hills Pinor Noir & Zweigelt Icewine (Canada)

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Some interesting facts about Icewine:

  • A bottle of Royal DeMaria (CAN) 2000 Chardonnay icewine sold for $30,000, and now it is selling for $250,000. (no joke)
  • It takes about 3-4.5kg depending on the varietal to make one 375ml bottle of icewine – conversely, the same amount yields 6-7x in table wine.
  • There is such thing as counterfeit icewine – from China

1) Volcanic Hills Pinot Noir 2009 Icewine (VQA), 10.0% ABV – 200ml, (West Kelowna, BC, Canada)

On the back label:

“Since 1978 my family and I have been growing grapes in the Okanagan Valley. Our winery is situated on the south eastern slope of a 60 million year old dormant volcano – Boucherie Mountain., which inspired the name ‘Volcanic Hills’. 100% estate grown, our Pinot Noir Icewine displays aromas and flavours of figs, raisins, molasses and maple syrup, followed by a rich, nutty finish. Pair it with fruit compote and cream, cheese and fruit plates or creme brulee. Serve at 4-6C.”

  • Style: (Pinot Noir) Icewine
  • My Rating: B+
  • Taste Profile: Sweet raisins/figs/maple syrup -> cassis/alcohol -> smooth clean finish.
  • Where I got it: Central City Liquor
  • How much: $21 (after 10% off), April 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: NO
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: YES

Tasting notes: pours golden light copper orange and a thickish viscosity. Inviting lush-sugary raisin/fig on the nose. Oh my this drinks with a light-syrupy viscosity which clings over-so-slightly to the inside of your mouth, gentle 9/10-sweetness, not cloying, tastes of red raisins, figs, light maple syrup (all 3 as advertised), cassis, finishing smooth and clean. Medium complexity, med-depth, very good sippability. Luscious and balanced body.

2) Volcanic Hills Zweigelt 2010 Icewine (VQA), 10.5% ABV – 200ml, (West Kelowna, BC, Canada)

On the back label:

“Since 1978 my family and I have been growing grapes in the Okanagan Valley. Our winery is situated on the south eastern slope of a 60 million year old dormant volcano – Boucherie Mountain., which inspired the name ‘Volcanic Hills’. 100% estate grown, our Zweigelt Icewine displays rich sultana raisin, fig, citrus peel and caramel. Try it with blue veined cheeses, fresh figs stuffed with goat cheese and walnuts, or dark chocolate dipped strawberries. Serve at 4-6C.”

  • Style: (Zweigelt) Icewine
  • My Rating: B-
  • Taste Profile: Sweet fruity raisin
  • Where I got it: Central City Liquor
  • How much: $24 (after 10% off), April 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: NO
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: YES

Tasting notes: pours a blush rosé colour. Light sugary-sweet red grapes on the nose. Drinks with a progressive 10/10-sugary-sweetness (tingling teeth sensitivity), sharp cloying in the mids, fruity raisin up front (brighter and not as deep as Vin Santos), fig, sour cherry, finishing sugary sweet with medium warmth, med-deep richness, and slightly alcoholic. Medium complexity, med depth, good transitions, okay drinkability. Not quite as enjoyable as the Pinot Noir above, but still good.