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  • Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Mission Hill - 2013 Winery of the Year - WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada Celebration

Left to right: Jessica Bryans (Joey Restaurants), Bryan McCaw (WineAlign), David Lawrason (WineAlign), Ingo Grady (Mission Hill), Steve Thurlow (WineAlign)
On , I had the pleasure of attending an invite-only celebration at Joey Eaton Centre to honour Mission Hill Family Estate's Winery of the Year Award at the inaugural WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada competition.

This award used to be part of the Canadian Wine Awards, which was run by WineAccess Magazine, until the magazine was abruptly shut down earlier this year. WineAccess was established in the 1990s by David Lawrason. Among other responsibilities, David is now VP of Wine at WineAlign, and was the co-chief judge of these awards.

Mission Hill submitted 16 wines at this competition and came away with 12 medals, including Platinum medals for their Compendium and Riesling Reserve. The B.C. winery also received Gold medals for their Chardonnay Reserve, Perpetua and Reserve Riesling Icewine.

On hand was Ingo Grady, Mission Hill's Director of Wine Education, to accept the awards. I spoke briefly with Ingo, who was quite gracious, humble, and a pleasure to talk to. You can tell he has a passion for wine. I can't wait to visit Mission Hill!

To celebrate, it was only fitting to serve Mission Hill's top 5 medal winning wines on this night. It was a treat to taste (and enjoy) each and every one of these wines, which were exquisitely paired with small bites that were served throughout the night. It's a shame that only one of these wines is readily available at the LCBO.

Here are my tasting notes from the evening:

2011 Mission Hill Riesling Reserve - NWAC13 Platinum Medal Winner
MISSION HILL RIESLING RESERVE 2011 - VQA Okanagan Valley (#) (D) - $20.00
This white wine has crisp petrol, honey, and lime aromas of medium intensity, with hints of minerality. It's off-dry with a palate consisting of peach, citrus and tropical fruits. Balanced throughout with a fine seam of acidity that makes it very food-friendly. Lengthy finish. Nice! Paired beautifully with the Ahi Tuna and Tempura Prawn Sushi Cones that were stuffed with Tobiko, Spicy Aioli, Pickled Ginger, Cucumber, Daikon and Avocado. Score: 91 pts

2011 Mission Hill Chardonnay Reserve - NWAC13 Gold Medal Winner
MISSION HILL CHARDONNAY RESERVE 2011 - VQA Okanagan Valley (#545004) (XD) - $19.95
Vintages Essentials product and always available, this white wine was partially fermented in American oak and has crisp tropical fruit and citrus aromas of medium intensity from the glass. Medium-bodied with lively acidity. Palate is fruit-forward and brings poached pear and tropical fruits, with light hints of butter and oak. Long, clean, lemony finish. Missed the pairing with the Butter Poached Prawn with Mango Salsa (that looked very tasty!) Score: 89 pts

2010 Mission Hill Perpetua - NWAC13 Gold Medal Winner
MISSION HILL PERPETUA 2010 - Osoyoos Vineyard Estate, VQA Okanagan Valley (#28894) (XD) - $34.99
Available through the agent Mark Anthony. Made using 3 different Chardonnay clones, and uses French oak for fermentation and ageing. Medium-intensity and subtle aromas of butterscotch and oak. Slightly creamy texture on the medium-full body with restrained notes of oak, plus some butter and apple flavours. Spicy mid-palate lingers through the very long finish. It paired nicely with Triple Cream Brie de Bourgogne and Deer Hunter Gouda. Score: 90 pts

2009 Mission Hill Compendium - NWAC13 Platinum Medal Winner
MISSION HILL COMPENDIUM 2009 - VQA Okanagan Valley (#) (XD) - $50.00
Available via agent. Bordeaux blend of 40% Cab Sauv, 35% Merlot, 20% Cab Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. Medium-high intensity aromas of herbal, pepper, oak, dark fruits and sour cherry. Palate is medium-full bodied with flavours of black currant, black fruit, cedar, and vanillan. Subtle spice on the mid-palate continues on the very long, smooth, and silky finish. This red wine has food-friendly acidity and velvety tannins. Lovely! Score: 91 pts

2011 Mission Hill Reserve Riesling Icewine - NWAC13 Gold Medal Winner
MISSION HILL RESERVE RIESLING ICEWINE 2011 - VQA Okanagan Valley (#240127) (S) (375 mL) - $59.99
Available via agent. Gorgeous peach, apricot and honey aromas. Medium-full bodied with very nice aroma replays and subtle spice. Sweet, but not cloying because of crisp acidity. It's balanced throughout and has a medium-long finish. Paired very nicely with an Apple Tart with Toasted Almonds and Caramel. It also went extremely well with a special dip (Apricot Ginger?) that Ingo brought from British Columbia. Score: 92 pts

NWAC13 Winery of the Year - Mission Hill Family Estate

Joey Eaton CentreJoey Eaton Centre

Ingo Grady Accepts Awards from David LawrasonMaking of Ahi Tuna and Tempura Prawn Sushi Cones


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