Riesling-Chardonnay Icewine 2010 – Isabella Winery (Richmond, BC, Canada) 

  • My Rating: D-

Riesling-Chardonnay Icewine 2010 – Isabella Winery, 13% ABV – 375 ml., (Richmond, BC, Canada) (*local BC icewine*)


on the back label:

“This unique two-in-one Icewine is blended with Riesling and Chardonnay. Bright gold in colour, with concentrated aroma’s of candied peach, apricot and honey on the nose.”

(back)


  • Style: (riesling-chardonnay) Icewine
  • Taste: Sour cloying acidic apricot white grape rough finish
  • Where I got it : @Winery
  • How much: $50 (after 15% off) – 375 ml., January 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Recommendable: no
  • What made an impression: too much sour acidity, dull flavour

Visual: (cellared for almost 5 years). Pours dark golden bronze orange, virtually clear with a few minute bites of sediment.

Nose: apple syrup, white grape juice, bright juicy impression. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: tangy, dense sugars mixed with alcohol

Mid-palate: more tangy-zingy acidity, (lvl-8-sweetness), sour apricot

Finish: cloying sugars, white grape juice FC (from concentrate) exhale, mild tart, rough palate

Summary: Way too sour, acidic, and lacking in bright flavours to be any good. It has the same lackluster apricot-apple flavour found in their Chardonnay Icewine [D+]. Oddly enough though, I actually liked their Riesling Icewine [B-] back when I had it in 2012. It seems they put more of the awful chardonnay in this blend and less of the delectable riesling. The final product – who wants to drink a sour icewine?

 

Raspberry Dessert Wine 2011 – Isabella Winery (Richmond, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: B

Raspberry Dessert Wine 2011 – Isabella Winery, 11% ABV – 375 ml., (Richmond, BC, Canada) (*local BC fruit wine*)


on the back label:

“This raspberry dessert wine displays intoxicating aromas of fresh picked raspberries and a little plum pudding. On the palate it is richly layered with fresh picked raspberries and a little plum tart. It has just enough sweetness and acidity not to make it tiresome to the palate and the delicate fresh stays in the mouth for minutes after you sip it. Enjoy it with black forest cake, blueberry tart or just by itself.”

(back)


  • Style: (Raspberry) Dessert Wine
  • Taste: Tangy authentic raspberry light sour tangy slight cloying
  • Where I got it : @Winery
  • How much: $17 (after 15% off) – 375 ml., January 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Recommendable: yes
  • What made an impression: rich raspberry

Visual: (cellared for 4.5 years). Pours dirty dark magenta with runny legs.

Nose: tangy raspberry juice (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: rich fruity, zingy subdued alcohol

Mid-palate: (lvl-6-sweetness), big tangy, juicy tart authentic raspberry, firm sour acidity, slight jammy cloying

Finish: raspberry juice exhale

Summary: Finally after almost 10 misses, an above average and enjoyable dessert wine from Isabella Winery that has flavourful depth and a drinkable balance.

Blueberry off-dry Dessert Wine 2011 – Isabella Winery (Richmond, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: FAIL

Blueberry off-dry Dessert Wine 2011 – Isabella Winery, 11% ABV – 375 ml., (Richmond, BC, Canada) (*local BC fruit wine*)


on the back label:

“Overlooking the historic Fraser River in the heart of blueberry country, Isabella Winery balances blueberry characteristics in this off-dry dessert wine. Delicious drizzled over vanilla ice cream” (same description as their Blueberry Dessert Wine [C+])

(back)


  • Style: (Blueberry) Dessert Wine
  • Taste: Sour tangy acidic muddled short blueberry vinegar cloying rough tannic
  • Where I got it : @Winery
  • How much: $17 (after 15% off) – 375 ml., January 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: you’re joking
  • What made an impression: crap quality

Visual: (cellared for 4.5 years). Pours deep dark purple, suspended large bits of sediment.

Nose:  (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: big sour, medium acidic cloying

Mid-palate: (lvl-1-sweetness), tannic rough, tangy blueberry juice, berry vinegar,

Finish: tart rough palate, dry

Summary: It is way too sour acidic-vinegary and lacks counterbalancing sugars to make it enjoyable as a dessert wine; Total waste of time and money, not recommended at all.

(a “why would anyone drink this?” moment…)

Red Salmonberry Wine – Kermode Wild Berry Wines (Dewdney, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: [A-]

Red Salmonberry Wine – Kermode Wild Berry Wines, 12% ABV, 375 ml., (Dewdney, BC, Canada) (*local BC Wine*)


on the back label:

“Red Salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis). Sweet Flavour, exceptional color and a truly lovely bouquet, are the signatures of this delicate wine. Salmonberries are harvested from the south coast of BC to as far North as the mystic Queen Charlottle Islands. These berries turn from a fun childhood treat found on walks in the woods into a very grown-up dessert wine perfect for sharing with that special someone.”

(back)


  • Style: (fruit – Red Salmonberry) Dessert Wine
  • Taste: Cherry-cranberry-pomegranate red fruity controlled sugars short tangy clean sippable
  • Where I got it : Liquor Depot @Cambie / Vancouver
  • How much: $25 CAD – 375 ml., sometime in ’11-’12
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: yes
  • Would I recommend this to fruit wine aficionados: yes!
  • What was most impressionable: big depth of berry flavour

Visual: (cellared for at least 5 years). Pours clear dark plum, a few bubbles in the glass.

Nose: fruity tart grape-raspberry, alcoholic backdrop. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: fruity sweet impression

Mid-palate: controlled (lvl-6-sweetness), cherry-cranberry-pomegranate blend, light tart, tangy short acidity

Finish: residual fruity sugars, mild alcohol warmth

Summary: Super red fruity while having a solid depth, controlled sugars and acidity, and a pleasant and clean finish. Supremely sippable. This would do wonders in a cocktail. I would buy another bottle if I ever see it again.

Blueberry Dessert Wine 2007 – Isabella Winery (Richmond, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: C+

Blueberry Dessert Wine 2007 – Isabella Winery, 11% ABV – 375 ml., (Richmond, BC, Canada) (*local BC fruit wine*)


on the back label:

“Overlooking the historic Fraser River in the heart of blueberry country, Isabella Winery balances blueberry characteristics in this off-dry dessert wine. Delicious drizzled over vanilla ice cream”


  • Style: (Blueberry) Dessert Wine
  • Taste: Dense sweet juicy rich blueberry-blackberry tangy firm acidic mild alcohol
  • Where I got it : @Winery
  • How much: $17 (after 15% off) – 375 ml., January 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: decent if untainted

Visual: (cellared for 10 years), a bit of mold on top of the cork. Pours deep purple, a bit of sediment.

Nose: light acidic alcoholic blueberry juice (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: slightly syrupy, dense sweet blueberry impression

Mid-palate: tangy firm acidity, (lvl-8-sweetness), rich blueberry-mild blackberry juiciness

Finish: residual sugars, berry exhale, trace amounts of mold in the aftertaste (from the cork I suspect)

Summary: Isabella Winery sure is hit and miss. While the majority of their products are mediocre at best, this one is actually above average. It’s a shame that there was just a touch of mold in the aftertaste. Can’t say I would but this again, but I’m certainly glad I didn’t feel ripped off. The sugars make my sensitive teeth tingle.

Valient Jubilee Sweet Red Wine – Rossignol Estate Winery (PEI, Canada)

  • My Rating: [C+]

Valient Jubilee Sweet Red Wine – Rossignol Estate Winery, 12% ABV (now listed as 11% ABV, 5/2017) – 750 ml., (Murray River, Prince Edward Island, Canada)


description from the Rossignol website:

“Deliciously rich and concentrated with loads of wild grape taste. Our hardy, estate-grown Valient [sic] grapes yield a fragrant juicy cocktail wine to be enjoyed alone or over ice with a twist of lemon”


  • Style: (Sweet) Red Wine
  • Taste: Sweet juicy concord-grapey tangy alcholic tart gums
  • Where I got it : ordered from their website/phone
  • How much: $21 CAD (after S&H) – 750 ml., March 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to wine aficionados: no

Visual: Non-vintage, cellared for 5 years. Pours a very dark reddish-purple, slow thick legs.

Nose: juicy deep and rich Welch/concord grape juice, background tangy acidity (lvl-4)-intensity

Attack: medium tart, sweet grape juice impression

Mid-palate: (lvl-5-sweetness), concord grape juice, raisiny alcohol, big juicy-controlled tart, tangy-zingy acidity, sangria-ish

Finish: tart gums, slight concord grapey exhale.

Summary: Valiant grape, a first for me tasting this varietal. More info here, it seems this type of sweet grape is well-suited for making jam and juice due to its deep rich flavour. This drinks like a sweet and tangy alcoholic grape juice with decent depth, easy going and quite approachable. It would be interesting on the rocks or in a cocktail, as suggested on the Rossignol website.

Full Moon Kerner Icewine 2005 – Sonoran Estate Winery (Summerland, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: [B-]

Full Moon Kerner Icewine 2005 – Sonoran Estate Winery, 13.6% ABV, 200 ml., (Summerland, BC, Canada) (*local BC wine*)


on the back label:

“The grapes for this delicious Ice Wine were harvested in Eric VonKrosigk’s vineyard by the light of a full moon. Rich honey, peaches and apricot aromas blaanced with flavours of lychee and pear. Hints of fresh mandarin oranges and citrus linger on the finish…”


  • Style: (Kerner) Icewine
  • Taste:
  • Where I got it : Liquor Depot / N. Burnaby
  • How much: $35, sometime in 2010
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados:

Visual: (cellared for 12 years, 2005 bottle). Composite cork with hard wax top, still intact. Pours

Nose: tangy syrupy grape-plum, hints of toffee. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: slight thicker

Mid-palate: sweet crisp-tangy acidity, (lvl-7-sweetness), apricot, lychee, honey, peach, subdued alcohol

Finish: subtle throat warmth, red apple exhale, lingering apricot notes,

Summary: Quite juicy and complex flavourful, well done for a 13.6%. Wishing for more length in the mids and more flavour on the side palates. I like this more than their 13 Moons Oraniensteiner [C+].