JoieFarm Riesling – Okanagan Valley (Naramata, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: C+

Riesling 2010 – JoieFarm Winery,11.9% ABV – 750ml, (Naramata, BC, Canada)

On the back label:

“Riesling, at its best, balances mouthwatering acidity, a  touch of sweetness and moderate alcohol levels in support of aromas and flavours of citrus and tropical fruit, flowers and spice. The greatest examples we know of originate in Germany and it was Germans who brought the first Riesling to the Okanagan Valley.”

  • Style: (Vintage) Riesling
  • Taste: acidic sugars -> sweet-sour/green apple/pear/lime -> cloying/tart/tangy-tart finish.
  • Where I got it : Firefly
  • How much: $25 (after 10%) – 750ml., May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to white wine imbibers: yes

Visual: Aluminum screw cap top, Pours clear light golden yellow, with a few bubbles on the bottom.

Nose: Tangy-sour red/green apple, white table grapes, hints of peach. (4)-aromatic nose.

Attack: acidity/dense sugars

Mid-palate: (6)-sweetness, (7)-sourness (MAIN) (7)-green apple, pear, lime

Finish: (4)-cloying sugars, medium tartness, lingering sour-tangy finish.

Summary: Truly a delicate balance of sweet-sour-tangy-fruit-alcohol, and body as advertised on the front label.   (Note: all numbers above are on a 10-point scale, with 1 being weak and 10 being the strongest)

No.99 Wayne Gretzky Estates Riesling (Ontario, Canada)

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  • My Rating: D

Riesling 2008 – No.99 Wayne Gretzky Estates, 11.3% ABV, 750ml, (Vineland, Ontario, Canada)

on the back label:

“No.99 Riesling from the 2008 vintage is a refreshing presentation of one of Niagara’s most prized aromatic white varieties. Bright citrus fruit lemon-lilme acidity, creating a crisp, alluring wine with a fruit-forward nose and long, lush palate structure. Drinking well now, and will evolve further in bottle over the next 3-5 years.”

  • Style: (white wine) Riesling
  • Taste Profile: super sour -> cloying acidity/lemon/lime/minerality -> tart/tangy/acidic finish
  • Where I got it : Legacy
  • How much: $20 (after 10% off) / ($14 online direct) – 750ml, May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to wine drinkers: no

Visual: Wayne Gretzky, the legend! How about this wine? Professional fancy label, complete with Wayne’s signature for you learn to forge on all his memorabilia. Pours light golden yellow with some tiny bubbles in the glass.

Nose: lemon-lime acidity

Attack: extreme citrus (10)-sourness

Mid-palate: (4)-sweetness, (9)-cloying acidity, (MAIN) lemon oil, lime, green apple (HINT) minerality

Finish: (7)-tart, tangy, acidic, cloying finish.

Summary: This is a wine that definitely must accompany a meal. It’s way to sour on it’s own and becomes even more so as it warms up. I’m a fan of Gretzky but not this wine. (Note: all numbers above are on a 10-point scale, with 1 being weak and 10 being the strongest)

Orofino Riesling (Cawston, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: C-

Riesling 2010 – Orofino Vineyards, 12.3% ABV, 750ml, (Cawston, BC, Canada)

on the back label:

“Typical Orofino Riesling full of complex tropical fruit, lime and minerality. Dry with bright acidity.”

  • Style: (white wine) Riesling
  • Taste Profile: sourness -> green apple/lime/pineapple/papaya -> tart acidity/puckery off-dry finish.
  • Where I got it : Firefly
  • How much: $23 (after 10% off) – 750ml, May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to wine drinkers: no, average

Visual: Raised font printed paper label, screw-top cap. Pours light yellow with a few small bubbles.

Nose: green apple, pineapple, lime, lots of acidity and brightness. (7)-aromatic strength.

Attack: intense sourness

Mid-palate: (2)-sweetness, continued sourness, (MAIN) green apple, lime, pineapple, papaya

Finish: lingering tartness-acidity-sourness, puckery off-dry fruity finish.

Summary:  Decent body and structure, but I find the acidic sourness too overbearing. (Note: all numbers above are on a 10-point scale, with 1 being weak and 10 being the strongest)

Intrigue Riesling 2010 (Lake Country, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: C

Intrigue Riesling 2010, 12.5% ABV, 750ml, (Lake Country, BC, Canada)

on the back label:

“The RIESLING was grown in beautiful Lake Country on a west facing slope. The light crop load and intense summer heat allowed the aromas and flavours to concentrate in the berries. This wine has a very prominent CITRUS AROMA balanced with GRANNY SMITH APPLES and notes of classic PETROL. The fruit forward flavours are balanced with the bright acidity that will excite your palate. The richness that follows will leave your mouth watering.”

  • Style: Riesling
  • Taste Profile: super sour -> sweet/sour green apple/pear/sour & tart -> tangy/acidic sour/
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor
  • How much: $19 (after 10% off), May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to white wine aficionados: no

Visual: Pours clear light golden yellow with watery legs.

Nose: green apple, minerality, mild tart/tangy apple juice, mild peach (5-aromatic strength)

Attack: overwhelming sourness(10)

Mid-palate: dense apple sweetness(6), medium tartness, (MAIN) green apple, (HINT) pear, petrol bitterness (!, really), apricot

Finish: persistent tanginess(7), acidic sourness(9), thickened saliva(5), lingering sour-tangy apple finish.

Summary: First initial sips are unbalanced and out of whack; The sourness is way too aggressive at first but you gradually get used to it. Decent flavour and body follow once you accept its extroverted nature. It’s not something I’d recommend but I’m glad I tried it anyway.(Note: all numbers above are on a 10-point scale, with 1 being weak and 10 being the strongest)

Silver Sage Gewurztraminer 2008 (Oliver, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: B-

Silver Sage Gewurztraminer 2008, 12.1% ABV – 750ml, (Oliver, BC, Canada)

on the back label:

“A very distinct mild-gold color wine, with a unique TROPICAL FRUIT aroma and an elegant wild rose fragrance to balance this peachy summer supper or seafood and white meat companion.”

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  • Style: (gewurztraminer) White wine
  • Taste Profile: medium bright sweetness -> chocolate orange/pineapple/sour peach -> warmth/tang/acidic finish.
  • Where I got it : @Winery
  • How much: $18, Spring 2009
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to white wine aficionados: yes, interesting flavour profile

Visual: (I picked this up during an Okanagan winery tour in the Springtime of 2009; Finally I’m getting around to trying it again, including the tasting at the winery. And after the first sip, I remember why I bought it…) Pours light-medium golden yellow, clear as water.

Nose: chocolate orange (you read that right), and red apple

Attack: medium-dense 6/10-sweetness

Mid-palate: (MAIN) chocolate orange (candied variety), pineapple, medium sourness, (HINT) sour peach

Finish: mild alcohol warmth, medium tang, medium-sharp acidic crisp finish

Summary: Chocolate orange and pineapple; this is the most interesting Gewurztraminer I’ve had to date. Nicely balanced though I wish it were more complex and had a bit more depth.

Ruby Blues Winery – Riesling (Penticton, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: C+

Riesling 2010 – Ruby Blues Winery, 12.0% ABV – 750ml, (Penticton, BC, Canada)

On the front side label:

“’Goodbye Ruby Tuesday… catch your dreams before they slip away…’ The shoes represent the dreams we all have…This wonderful painting was created by our friend and brilliant artist Jennifer Grant. The grapes for this Riesling are exclusively from the Naramata Bench. Handpicked Oct.26/2010. This Riesling shows GREEN APPLES, CITRUS and MINERAL FLAVOURS. A wonderful compliment to chicken and various cheeses.”

  • Style: (white wine) Riesling
  • Taste Profile: medium sweet apple -> green apple/tart/lime/mineral -> sour/tangy/semi-sweet cloying apple finish
  • Where I got it: Legacy
  • How much: $23 (after 10% off), May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to white wine aficionados: no, not outstanding enough

Visual: I like the colour matching of the dark red screwcap and blood-red background on the label. Pours standard white wine light yellow, with what appear to be micro-sized bubbles at the bottom of the glass – cool.

Nose: tangy green apple with medium acidity and a hint of lemon/lime

Attack: escalating 7/10-sweetness,

Mid-palate: green apple + tartness, hints of lime, minerality

Finish: medium acidic sourness, tangy, semi-sweet light cloying apple finish.

Summary: Decent body and drinkability, though not particularly complex or remarkable.

Hainle Vineyards Riesling 2003 (BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: C (average)

Hainle Vineyards (Organic) Riesling 2003, 12.5% ABV – 750ml, (Peachland, BC, Canada)

(Note: Hainle is North America’s first ever ice wine producer)

on the back of the bottle:

Gold medal Grand Cru-Long Beach, CA, Gold medal, Grand Rapids International Wine Competition, MI,

Our Riesling was made with grapes grown in some of the best -suited vineyard sites, in Lakeview Heights, Penticton, and our own, organically managed Peachland location. Citrus, apricot and mineral aromas are followed by crisp, spicy flavours. This wine is a versatile match with all kinds of seafood, chicken, Midterranean, and Asian cuisine.”

  • Style: (white wine) Riesling
  • Taste Profile:
  • Where I got it : Liquor Depot Hastings
  • How much: $36 (after 5% off), January 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to white wine aficionados: can’t say; I don’t like it but you might

Visual: Wow this wine is over a decade old and it is STILL available for sale via their website. If wines are good, don’t they sell out…? Anyhow, cracking open a bottle of anything over a decade old is quite exciting. Pours clear light lemon yellow as you might expect.

Nose: Red apple juice on the nose, not much else

Attack: incoming acidity, 8/10-sourness

Mid-palate: predominantly sour/tangy green apple, hints of stone fruit

Finish: sour/mild-tart, off-dry puckery acidic finish.

Summary:  Big bold fruity green apple up front but I don’t appreciate the sour/puckeriness of the mid to finish. Just average for me, not something I would drink again, recommend, or give a gold medal to.

Tantalus Riesling (Canada)

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1) Old Vines Riesling 2008 – Tantalus, 12.1% ABV – 750ml, (Kelowna, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: C
  • Style: Riesling (picked from vines planted in 1978)
  • Taste Profile: heavy richness -> pineapple/lemon/melon/med acidity -> heavy tang/tart/puckery/sticky finish
  • Where I got it : Firefly
  • How much: $34 (after 10% off) , May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to casual wine drinkers: no, it doesn’t grab my attention

Tasting notes: Just checked their online ordering availability on their website and everything but their Pinot Noir is sold out! Hmm.. high expectations for this wine. Well then. Pours standard white wine yellow with a few countable bubbles in the glass. Strong pineapple and lemon citrus aromas on the nose.

Attack: strong intensity-high density richness, 3/10-sweetness,

Mid-palate: cuts dry, pineapple, lemon/lime, melon, light minerality, medium acidity

Finish: med-heavy tartness, heavy tang, very cloying, medium puckery, thick sticky finish with phlegm build-up

Although there are rave reviews on this wine, it’s not my cup of tea. It’s too dense and aggressive without having the playful brightness I like in Rieslings. I respect the body on it but not really session sippable.

2) Riesling 2010 – Tantalus, 12.2% ABV – 750ml, (Kelowna, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: B-
  • Style: Riesling
  • Taste Profile: dense sugars -> apple/pineapple/lime -> tang/sourness/balanced finish.
  • Where I got it : Firefly
  • How much: $25 (after 10% off) , May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to casual wine drinkers: 50/50

Tasting notes: pours a clear very light yellow. Very bright fruity apple/pineapple nose.

Attack: dense sugars that gradually dissipate, 6/10-sweetness

Mid-palate: apple, pineapple, lime, medium acidity

Finish: light-med cloying, medium tang, medium-light sourness.

Good playfulness, balance and drinkability. I definitely like the Riesling more than the Old Vines.

Mission Hill Riesling 2007 (Canada)

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  • My Rating: D+

Reserve 2007 Riesling – Mission Hill Winery,13.0% ABV – 750ml, (Okanagan Valley, BC, Canada)

On back label:

“This is a rich, plus and refined wine. Subtle notes of white peach and verbena combine gracefully with a hint of nutmeg. Perfect integration and balance are completed with terrific length.”

  • Style: Riesling
  • Taste Profile: Fruity acidity -> nasty salty/sour/citrus/peach -> alcohol/salty/rough finish.
  • Where I got it: at the winery
  • How much: ~$19, Summer 2009
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: NO
  • Would I recommend this to white wine aficionados: NO

Tasting notes: 2007! and it’s already 2013 so I figure I should drink it. Anyways, pours clear light yellow. Fruity citrus with hints of peach on the nose. Drinks with 6/10-heavy acidity, almost SALTY, medium tang/sourness, transitions into 5/10-sweetness, mild citrus, hints of peach and nutmeg (I guess…), all with alcohol in the background, finishing with that lingering SALTINESS. Man I can’t get past that dense salt-like flavour. Maybe it’s because I’m eating it with chow mein which isn’t all that salty btw. Finish is jagged and not all that clean. Cannot recommend and do not like.

Silkscarf Riesling-Muscat 2009 (Canada)

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Silkscarf Riesling-Muscat 2009, 12% ABV – 750ml, (Summerland, BC, Canada)

On the back label:

“The Riesling and the Muscat grapes have been crushed and fermented together to produce a well-unified body. This wine nicely combines the dominant Riesling mineral flavour with the Muscat’s typical honey aroma. Melon and mango notes add a soft finishing trace to the Muscat fruity flavour.”

  • Style: (Riesling-Muscat) White Wine
  • My Rating: C+
  • Taste Profile:  bright sweet/tart  -> green apple/pear -> tart/cloying finish.
  • Where I got it: Purchased @Winery
  • How much: $20, Summer 2010
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to white wine aficionados: no

Tasting notes: pours clear light golden yellow. Strong pear/apple/white grape. Drinks with a bright dense 7/10-sweetness, med-heavy tartness, medium acidity, sour green apple, pear, stone fruit, finishing med-tart/cloying. Low-med complexity, okay transitions, okay carry, okay drinkability. 1st 1/3rd is okay, gets kinda boring afterward.