Monday, August 10. 2015
At a ceremony held at Government House on August 6th, Brigadier-General the Honourable J.J. Grant, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, presented the 2015 Awards for Excellence in Nova Scotia wine. This was the second time the awards have been presented since the program was initiated in 2014. I had the pleasure to serve on the tasting panel on both occasions and, together with other judges, felt that the already high standard set last year, was topped by this year’s competition.
Hearty congratulations to the three co-equal winners! They are:
L’Acadie Vineyards Cuvée l’Acadie Rosé, 2011
Domaine de Grand Pré Riesling Icewine, 2013
Gaspereau Vineyards Riesling, 2013
Interestingly, each wine is quite distinct from the others, but collectively represent the three styles in which Nova Scotia has most clearly achieved a high degree of excellence. Traditional Method sparkling wine, Icewine and aromatic, crisp white wines are the best we have developed so far. This is certainly no accident. Nova Scotia’s cool climate, distinctive terroir is ideally suited to creating these kinds of wines.
Unfortunately, I do not have current tasting notes for the L’Acadie Vineyards Cuvée l’Acadie Rosé, but my reviews of the other two, together with two other recently released Nova Scotia wines appear below.
Domaine de Grand Pré Riesling Icewine 2013, Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia $54.50 (375ml bottle) This intensely aromatic and deeply concentrated sweet wine shows great complexity and finesse. Barrel-fermented and aged in New American oak, it reveals floral scents, honey, orange, tangerine, spice and mineral, with richly sweet lemon citrus, honeycomb, vanilla and white chocolate in the mouth. Crisp acidity brings dynamic balance to lingering citrus, white chocolate and spice on the finish. ***
Gaspereau Vineyards Riesling 2013, Nova Scotia $18.99 Delicate floral scents, lemon, a trace of lime, mineral and a light whiff of petrol reveal true Riesling varietal character. Lime comes to the fore on the palate, backed by characteristic Nova Scotia lively acidity and mineral grip counterbalanced with creamy texture on the off-dry finish. **
Domaine de Grand Pré, Tom – Special Edition Red Wine NV, $25.00 This blend of Marquette, Cabernet Foch and Baco Noir was produced as a tribute to Tom Preston, probably the longest serving field hand in the Nova Scotia wine industry. Sadly, Tom died in 2014, shortly after retirement. It shows cherry, red plum, wild berry and interesting tarry/smoky notes with moderate tannins, bitter cherry and a light splash of dark chocolate on the finish. **
Gaspereau Vineyards Gina’s Red 2013, $21.99 Both red and dark fruits are apparent, with a light spice a splash of vanilla, a whiff of clove, dark chocolate and a suggestion of licorice. Medium bodied, with lightly firm but approachable tannins and not overly aggressive acidity. Bears some similarity to the drinkable, food-friendly reds of central Italy. Drink with grilled red meats, pastas and medium ripened cheese. **
* Good value in its price range
** Particularly good value in its price range
***Exceptional value in its price range
Note: I had intended to post this entry sooner, however, I have developed tendonitis in my hand, which has made typing quite a challenge. I am hoping that the situation will improve over the next few days.