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.