The second stop of the day was at Pillitteri Estates Winery for a Strawberry and Brie Grilled Cheese Slider that was paired with their newly released 2013 Pillitteri Pinot Grigio ($14.95, #146787, 86 pts). I've never had strawberries on grilled cheese before, so I was quite excited to try this combo as I love both strawberries and grilled cheese. The slider was freshly prepared while we waited and sipped on the Pinot Grigio. Subtly sweet strawberries combined with the brie provided a very rich, mouth-watering experience and overall quite delicious. The pairing with the wine was nice and elegant.
For lunch, we visited Southbrook Vineyards to check out their new Farmers' Table @Southbrook bistro that opened in June and will be open for service during lunch hours all summer long and through to Thanksgiving long weekend. By now, we were quite full thanks to a big, delicious lunch courtesy of Chef Shawn Murphy and Southbrook and were left pondering how we would be able to enjoy the final two Discovery Pass Experiences remaining on the trip.
Château des Charmes for what I expected to be a light pairing of their 2013 St. David's Bench Sauvignon Blanc and 2013 Paul Bosc Estate Sauvignon Blanc with a Candy Onion Glazed Goat's Cheese and Chive Muffin with Crème Fraiche. The two wines were quite drastically (and surprisingly) different considering that they were the same grape grown basically across the street from each other. Each is a very nice expression showcasing the effects of terroir on grape growing. Full tasting notes of these wines, along with a few others I tasted are provided below. The pairings with the muffin were also intriguing. The St. David's Bench Savvy was a more fruit forward example and lent itself more as a sipper than pairing with food, while the Paul Bosc Estate Savvy was the opposite - a mineral-driven wine with texture and great acidity perfect for food pairing. The muffin itself was on the small side, but very dense and quite rich and fulfilling. The onion flavours from the muffin were also brought out by the Paul Bosc Estate Savvy. Quite the experience!
Our final stop of the day was back in Twenty Valley at Featherstone Estate Winery. Here, we enjoyed a generously sized portion of thin-crust Strawberry and Mozzarella Pizza made fresh by hand in their outdoor wood burning oven. It was beautifully paired with their 2014 Featherstone Rosé (#14.95, #117861, 86 pts) with strawberry flavours from the wine matching the flavours coming off the pizza.
After all this heavy food on Sunday, we were quite full and actually skipped dinner. I want to thank everyone at each of 9 wineries for your excellent hospitality and helping make this visit a very successful and enriching experience. I hope to see all of you again in September for the Annual Grape & Wine Festival.
Tasting Notes:REIF WHITE MERITAGE 2012 - VQA Niagara River, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $19.95
Blend of 63% Sauvignon Blanc and 37% Semillon. Medium+ intensity aromas showing pear, herb, green apple and nettle notes which replay nicely on the medium-bodied, dry palate. It has bright acids, spicy mid-palate and a lingering finish. Score: 88 pts
REIF VIDAL ICEWINE 2013 - VQA Niagara River, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#544791) (S) (200 mL / 375 mL) - $24.95 / $46.95
Lovely honey, yellow plum, peach, and apricot aromas which replay beautifully on the balanced palate. Notes of pineapple and toffee also add complexity to the flavour profile. It's very sweet, but not cloying due to the very good, crisp acids. Excellent length on the finish. Score: 91 pts
PILLITTERI EXCLAMATION RESERVE MERLOT 2012 - VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $50
Medium-to-high aromatics with chocolate, oak and vanilla notes. It's medium-to-full bodied with complex flavours of leather, oak spice, cocoa, earth and blackcurrant. Bright acids and very long finishing. Score: 90 pts
PILLITTERI GEWÜRZTRAMINER RESERVE ICEWINE 2012 - VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#409417) (S) (200 mL) - $34.95
Highly aromatic nose featuring lovely peach, apricot, honey, ginger and citrus notes that replay very nicely on the medium-to-full bodied, sweet palate. It has good acids, chalky mineral texture and a very long, spiced finish. Score: 90+ pts
PILLITTERI VIDAL RESERVE ICEWINE 2012 - VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (S) (200 mL) - $28
Medium-to-high aromatics with tart lemon, honey, and apricot. It's medium+ bodied with very good acids and notes of citrus, honey and spices on the palate. Finishes long. Score: 89 pts
CHÂTEAU DES CHARMES SAUVIGNON BLANC ST. DAVID'S BENCH VINEYARD 2013 - VQA St. David's Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#391300) (D) - $14.95
Medium intensity, fruity citrus aromas joined by grassy, nettle, and herbally notes. The palate is medium-bodied with nice aroma replays and some lemony flavours. It's quite dry with bright acids and a touch warm on the long finish. Easy drinking, summer patio sipper with substance. Score: 88 pts
CHÂTEAU DES CHARMES SAUVIGNON BLANC PAUL BOSC ESTATE VINEYARD 2013 - VQA St. David's Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $17.95
Elegant lemon/lime, peach and citrus aromas from the glass. It's light-to-medium-bodied with crisp acids and a lemon/lime, herbaceous, and mineral flavour profile. Slight chalky textured and finishing long. Deserves to be paired with light fare. Score: 88+ pts
CHÂTEAU DES CHARMES CHARDONNAY MUSQUE 2013 - VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#640516) (XD) - $16.95
Medium intensity nose that comes off sweet with honeyed fruits, honeysuckle, earth and lime peel. On the palate, it's medium+ bodied and creamy with herbaceous and lime zest notes. It's dry with crisp acidity and a lengthy finish. Score: 88 pts
CHÂTEAU DES CHARMES GAMAY NOIR 'DROIT' ST. DAVID'S BENCH VINEYARD 2012 - VQA St. David's Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#346742) (XD) - $16.95
Medium+ intensity nose with earthy, sour cherry and black currant aromas. The palate is medium+ bodied and complex with toasty oak spice, black cherry, blackberry, hint of mint, and undertones of herbs and white pepper. It has very good, balanced acids and a long finish. Score: 89 pts
FEATHERSTONE BLACK SHEEP RIESLING 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#080234) (M) - $16.95
Aromas of medium+ intensity featuring apple, citrus, slate and ginger notes, plus some maturing hints of mineral and petrol. It's mid-weight with bright acids and medium sweet flavours of citrus zest, slate and wet rocks. Lingering, chalky finish. Score: 88+ pts
FEATHERSTONE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2014 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#089011) (D) - $17.95
Harmonious and elegant medium+ intensity aromas of tropical fruit, kiwi and grass. It's mid-weight with grassy, kiwi and guava flavours on the palate. Bright acidity with some herbally and spice notes on the long finish. Score: 89 pts