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…)

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.

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

  • My Rating: D+ (bad P:E, price:enjoyability)

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


on the back label:

“This fresh Icewine Chardonnay is buttery and smooth nectar of richness demonstrates good balance, and exhibits flavors of ripe apple, apricot, melon and lemon zest. A hint of oak vanilla, toasted marshmallow aromas round out the robust yet gentle mouthfeel.”


  • Style: (Chardonnay) Icewine
  • Taste: Tangy red apple apricot soft sour crisp short length basic flavour
  • Where I got it : @Winery
  • How much: $71 (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: never

Visual: (cellared for at least 7 years), real cork partially disintegrated upon uncorking. Pours apple juice yellow with a slight orange shade, crystal clear.

Nose: apple juice, Welch’s white grape, light sweet acidity. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: incoming sweet juicy tangy

Mid-palate: (lvl-6-sweetness), red apple, almost salty, tangy alcohol, very mild heat, apricot, watery viscosity

Finish: soft sour, residual medium tangy apricot-grape

Summary: Lol this is what you call impulse spending on liquor – buy the whole 20+ bottle lineup, review them all for blog, and check the bill later. In any case, another DNB, waste of money dessert wine from Isabella. Way too thin and basic apple flavour straight out of the fridge; Luckily the acidity kicks in as it warms and you get more tangy apricot in the backend. Still, a turd is a turd even if you cellar for 7 years it. Drinkable, but after feeling swindled.

Sikera (Apple-Icewine) – Isabella Winery (Richmond, BC , Canada)

  • My Rating: FAIL

Sikera (apple wine & Icewine blend) – Isabella Winery, 11% ABV – 200 ml., (Richmond, BC, Canada) (*local BC fruit wine*)


on the back label:

“A truly unique wine. This tantalizing blend of apples and Icewine is full of flavours that are reminiscent of apple pie. Exquisite with cheese or delightful on its own.”

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  • Style: (Apple wine + Icewine blend) Dessert Wine
  • Taste: Moldy cloying sweet apple syrup generic icewine
  • Where I got it : @Winery
  • How much: $10 (after 15% off) – 200 ml., January 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: never

Visual: (cellared for at least 3 years), real cork intact. Pours deep brandy orange, clear as water.

Nose: syrupy apple juice, icewine grapey density. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: thick incoming sugars

Mid-palate: background rotten fruit/mold (I suspect from the cork), (lvl-10-sweetness), dense apple juice, generic sweet grapey icewine

Finish: very cloying sugars, apple juice exhale, residual light tangy

Summary: Very basic apple sweetness with some icewine notes, but there’s no structure or complexity to it, just cloying. To top it off it had a moldy flavour to it which got somewhat covered up by the sugars. The last 50mls were a drain pour. Absolutely awful.

Black Cherry Dessert Wine 2009 – Isabella Winery (Richmond, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: C-

Black Cherry Dessert Wine 2009 – Isabella Winery, 11% ABV – 375 ml., (Richmond, BC, Canada) (*local BC fruit wine*)


on the back label:

“This is a fun, chillable red wine that offers a hint of spice with just the right amount of sweetness. Ideal with cheesecake or tiramisu.”

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  • Style: (Fruit – Black Cherry) Dessert Wine
  • Taste: Very sweet black cherry apple medium throat warmth cloying
  • Where I got it : @Winery
  • How much: $15 (after 15% off) – 375ml., January 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: nah

Visual: (cellared for 7 years), real cork intact. Pours rich deep blood red, a few micro bubbles along the perimeter.

Nose: dense syrupy/jammy sweet black cherry with some tanginess. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: sticky fruity dense

Mid-palate: (lvl-10-sweetness), black cherry-red apple hybrid, plum-dark fruit

Finish: residual wave of cloying sugars, throat warmth, mild throat soreness from the sugar

Summary: The first sip or two are very sweet, but after your palate becomes acclimated the fruit flavours emerge. Not that graceful nor balanced.

Cranberry Dessert Wine 2009 – Isabella Winery (Richmond, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: C-

Cranberry Dessert Wine 2009 – Isabella Winery, 11% ABV – 375 ml., (Richmond, BC, Canada) (*local BC fruit wine*)


on the back label:

“This delicious ruby red berry packs the powerful punch of its natural flavours into the sweetness of a dessert wine. Enjoy it chilled or shake it up with your favourite martini.”

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  • Style: (Fruit – Cranberry) Dessert Wine
  • Taste: Cloying liqueur sweet from concentrate tangy cranberry
  • Where I got it : @Winery
  • How much: $15 (after 15% off) – 375ml., January 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: don’t sip it, mix it

Visual: (cellared for 7 years), real cork split in half while uncorking. Pours deep ruby red with lots of suspended sediment.

Nose: juicy jammy tangy cranberry. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: incoming dense alcoholic sugars

Mid-palate: syrupy (lvl-10-sweetness), tangy alcohol, light tart, cranberry jam

Finish: alcohol detection, residual cloying sugars, red berry exhale

Summary: Very, very sweet, and normally cranberries aren’t that sweet, so what gives? It seems like they added sugar to this but I can’t be certain since the ingredients aren’t listed. The cranberry flavour itself is nicely rich but has a “from concentrate (FC)” quality to it, like an Ocean Spray cranberry juice. It’s way too sweet as a sipper, instead I’d say this is better as a substitute for a cranberry liqueur in a cocktail; Although it doesn’t quite have the weighty viscosity that a typical liqueur has.

Late Harvest Riesling 2004 – Isabella Winery (Richmond, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: D

Late Harvest Riesling 2010 – Isabella Winery, 11.5% ABV – 375ml, (Richmond, BC, Canada)


on the back label:

“Rich and luxurious in texture, it unfolds with flavours of apricot and peach, balanced by firm acidity and mineral characteristics. Enjoy with light desserts or fresh fruits.”

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  • Style: (Late Harvest – Riesling) Dessert Wine
  • Taste: Unbalanced unenjoyable sour astringent acidic tangy muddle white grape excessive heat/warmth
  • Where I got it : Liquor Depot / Vancouver
  • How much: $18 (after 5% off) – 375ml., January 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: don’t bother

Visual: (cellared for 12 years), composite cork still intact. Pours clear golden apple juice yellow.

Nose: concentrated white grape/apple. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: big sour

Mid-palate: persistent astringent acidity, (lvl-5-sweetness), muddly peach, white grape, tangy acidity

Finish: tangy astringent big alcoholic heat, throat warmth, dry apple cider vinegar harshness

Summary: Too much alcoholic heat, deficient tropical fruity brightness for a Riesling, too much astringency in the acidity. It lacks poise and refinement. A poor effort.