Inniskillin Riesling Icewine Niagara Peninsula Ontario Canada 2002
Grapes are left on the vine well into the winter months. The resulting freezing and thawing of the grapes dehydrates the fruit, and concentrates the sugars, acids, and extracts in the berries, thereby intensifying the flavours and adding complexity to the wine made from it. Genuine icewine must follow VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance) regulations that prohibit any artificial freezing of grapes. The grapes are painstakingly picked by hand in their natural frozen state, ideally at temperatures of -10 to -13 degrees C -- sometimes the picking must be done at night to take advantage of the temperature. Yields are very low, often as little as 5-10 percent of normal. The frozen grapes are pressed in the extreme cold. The water in the juice remains frozen as ice crystals, and only a few drops of sweet concentrated juice is obtained. This juice is then fermented very slowly for several months, stopping naturally. The finished icewine is intensely sweet and flavorful in the initial mouth sensation. The balance is achieved by the acidity, which gives a clean, dry finish. The nose of icewine recalls lychee nuts. The wine tastes of tropical fruits, with shadings of peach nectar and mango. Icewine is winter's gift to the wine lover: one of the best-kept secrets of the wine world that garners gold medals in virtually every competition in which it is entered.
It has a light amber color, golden with a tinge of orange. The bouquet releases notes of orange blossoms and honey. And it is reflected in the taste - intensely sweet with notes of ripe peaches and mangos. The luscious palate finishes with lingering notes of mandarin.
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