A Cool Canadian White for a Warm Summer’s Day

Cave Spring Riesling Niagara Peninsula 2007
Kim Marcus
Posted: September 21, 2009

For Labor Day weekend, my wife Wendy and I, along with senior editor Bruce Sanderson, took a road trip to the Niagara Peninsula of Ontario. Our destination was Bruce’s folks’ cottage on the north shore of Lake Erie. The weather was pleasantly warm, and, with almost the whole Sanderson clan at the ready, we were looking forward to a menu of spit-roasted beef for dinner. There were plenty of reds at our disposal, but I had a hankering for a white as an aperitif. And that required a trip to a branch of the provincial wine monopoly, the LCBO.

The LCBO in Hamilton was bright, clean and well-lighted, with a good selection of domestic and imported wines. I plumbed Bruce’s knowledge of the Canadian offerings; we both quickly zeroed on Riesling as the best option. The Niagara Peninsula, which boasts a thriving wine culture, is flanked by Lake Ontario to the north and Lake Erie to the south, and their waters moderate its long Canadian winter. I selected a 2007 Riesling from Cave Spring, one of Bruce’s favorites. It didn’t disappoint. Firm and slightly off dry tasting, the wine had typical Riesling flavors, dominated by crunchy peach, along with notes of mineral and smoke. I rated it 87 points, non-blind, and it was a refreshing quaff before an evening of red wine and beef.

WineSpectator.com members: Read Bruce Sanderson's original blind-tasting review for Cave Spring Riesling Niagara Peninsula 2007 (86, $12).

• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated Canadian wines.

Member comments   6 comment(s)

Syd Best — Mississauga, Canada —  September 20, 2009 9:54am ET

Ontario had a great 2007 vintage I Wine Spectator can find the opportunity to review more Ontario wines, in particular the reds from 2007 which are just being released at the wineries.


Stewart Lancaster — beaver,pa —  September 21, 2009 11:06am ET

Just returned from a trip to NOTL, i was impressed with their red wines as well,especially their bordeaux blends. Agree it would be nice to see reviews of their wines.


Michel Leclair — Ottawa, Ontario —  September 23, 2009 7:39pm ET

Wine Spectator articles on both the Niagara Peninsula and the Okanagan Valley are so overdue considering the amount of times certain wine regions are covered over and over again. Bruce, you seem to be the perfect candidate to expose Canadian wines to the world.


Scott Webster — Mississauga, Ontario, Canada —  September 29, 2009 12:09am ET

I will make an offer to you fine folks at Wine Spectator, I own a vacation rental property in Niagara-on-the-Lake right in the heart of wine country just steps from many of the local estate wineries and i would be happy to provide my property to you if you were willing to come and rate some more of our wines. I am starting to build my collection and use your advice religiously in order to do so however when it comes to Ontario wines it seems the only ones getting reviewed are the ice wines!

Let me know if this is of any interest as i would love to be a catalyst to more Ontario reviews!

Scott Webster


Bruce Sanderson — New York —  September 29, 2009 11:49am ET

Michel, We published an article on Niagara, "Niagara Rises" in our May 15, 2008 issue and cover both Niagara and the Okanagan Valley periodically.

Scott, We regularly review Canadian wines that are imported into the United States and from time to time, to accompany an article like "Niagara Rises," taste additional wines that are not imported. Last year we reviewed 80 wines from Canada. Most importers are interested in the ice wines, but we do receive samples of dry whites and reds also.


Scott Webster — Mississauga, Ontario, Canada —  September 30, 2009 12:05am ET

Bruce or Kim,

In the event that you would be interested in writing another piece on the Niagara wine region I would be more than happy to offer up my vacation rental at no cost as previously mentioned, also one the most promenent and well known premium cheese and high end gourmet grocery vendors in the Toronto area is a friend of mine and has offered to provide premium cheese and food pairings for the wines which would make for a very interesting article not only for lovers of Canadian wines but also those seeking knowledge in varietal pairings with fine cheeses and other delicacies.

Love to see more Canadian content and the Niagara area in particular!


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