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  • Friday, March 13, 2015

Vidal Wine Tasting

Blind tasting Vidal wines at iYellow Wine Cave
On , I attended an exclusive tasting of Vidal table wines at the iYellow Wine Cave. This tasting was born out of a conversation about Vidal between Angela Aiello and André Proulx at this very same venue back in January during a promotional event for Niagara Chilled. Krista Lamb and I were nearby and eventually got involved in the discussion. The conversation eventually led to André proposing a tasting of Vidal table wines to see how they fared.

There were 6 Vidal wines available for tasting on this Wednesday evening. All the wines were brown-bagged so we could taste them blind. However, we were told that all the wines were from Ontario and ranged in vintage from 2011 to 2013. Looking at the labels of each of the wines at the conclusion of the tasting, I couldn't help but notice that all the wines were designated VQA Ontario. If I'm not mistaken, the fruit for five of the six wines came from Niagara, while the fruit for the Monarch came from Pelee Island.

The results from tasting the wines blind was interesting. In general, these Vidal wines all featured varying degrees of sweetness, ranging from just off-dry (slightly sweet) to semi-dry (quite sweet). Furthermore, the palates were generally light-to-mid-weight. The biggest surprise I discovered on this night was the balanced acidity. Generally speaking, Icewine made with Vidal tends to lack the acidity desired to balance the sweetness, while also making the wine have a somewhat flabby mouthfeel. However, when sugar levels are lowered, in cases such as the below table wines, the acids are quite balanced.

Blind tasting Vidal wines at iYellow Wine Cave
We tasted the wines in the order listed below. Bottles #2 and #3 seemed off to my nose and may require re-tasting at a future date when visiting the winery. It was interesting to note that André's favourite was the first wine (Lailey Vidal 2011), while Angela and myself preferred Sandbanks Dunes Vidal; Krista's favourite was a toss up between these two wines. The Sandbanks version is a good, cheap alternative for those who prefer sweet wines and want to try something else other than a Riesling.

If you're interested in purchasing any of these wines, all are available through the winery, while the wines from Pelee Island and Sandbanks are readily available at the LCBO.

Lastly, thank you Andre for proposing the idea, arranging the tasting and securing the wines. Also thank you Angela for hosting us at your fantastic Wine Cave. And finally, thank you to all the wineries who provided the samples for us to taste.

Vidal wines

LAILEY VINEYARD VIDAL 2011 - VQA Ontario, Canada (#) (D) - $12.20
Medium intensity nose featuring floral, wild herb, iodine and acetone aromas. It's light-to-mid weight on the viscous palate with off-dry (i.e. slightly sweet) wildflower, green melon notes. Mouthfeel has a chalky mineral texture, while acids are balanced. Medium-long finish that is a little warm. Score: 86 pts

Wine Review of 2011 Lailey Vineyard Vidal from VQA Ontario, Canada (86 pts)

SUE-ANN STAFF VIDAL 2011 - VQA Ontario, Canada (#) (MD) - $13.95
Unpleasant, medium intensity, oxidized aromas of egg and funk. The light-to-medium bodied palate is quite different with quite sweet fruity, floral, and melon flavours and a slightly chalky mouthfeel. Balanced acids tone down the semi-dry sweet flavours, while the finish is short. Score: 82 pts (flawed bottle?)

Wine Review of 2011 Sue-Ann Staff Vidal from VQA Ontario, Canada (82 pts)

REIF ESTATE VIDAL 2012 - VQA Ontario, Canada (#) (XD) - $10.95
Medium intensity nose, oxidized, with underlying orchard apple and poached pear aromas. Medium bodied palate comes off as extra dry due to high acidity. Hints of apple flavour profile and finishing short. Score: 80 pts (flawed bottle?)

Wine Review of 2012 Reif Estate Vidal from VQA Ontario, Canada (80 pts)

PELEE ISLAND MONARCH VIDAL 2012 - VQA Ontario, Canada (#393405) (D) - $10.95 $9.45
Blend of 85% Vidal and 15% Geisenheim. Nose was somewhat closed but showed subtle off-dry hints of melon, honeysuckle, floral notes. Palate is light-to-mid weighted and quite sweet with melon, honey flavours which taper off on the long, bitter finish. Crisp, balanced acids with good balance overall. Currently on sale until March 29th. Score: 87 pts

Wine Review of 2012 Pelee Island Monarch Vidal from VQA Ontario, Canada (87 pts)

LAILEY VINEYARD VIDAL 2013 - VQA Ontario, Canada (#) (D) - $12.20
Slightly oxidized with a nose that seemed closed but showed hints of floral, wild herb, grass, gooseberry aromas. Medium-to-full bodied on the palate with a chalky mineral texture and flavours consisting of floral and pink grapefruit. Palate begins off-dry, but tapers off into the dry (i.e. not sweet) zone. Balanced acids and lengthy finish. Score: 85 pts

Wine Review of 2013 Lailey Vineyard Vidal from VQA Ontario, Canada (85 pts)

SANDBANKS ESTATE DUNES VIDAL 2013 - VQA Ontario, Canada (#110031) (M) - $12.95
Very focused medium+ intensity aromas of wildflower and honey. The palate is medium bodied and medium in sweetness with exotic wildflower, Flintstones vitamin flavours and a slightly chalky texture. It has balanced, vibrant acids and a long, focused finish. Score: 88 pts

Wine Review of 2013 Sandbanks Estate Dunes Vidal from VQA Ontario, Canada (88 pts)


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