Last year on the Wine Blog, I highlighted a few of my favourite wines from Creekside Estate Winery. This month, Creekside is My Wine Canada's featured wine club winery which means lucky subscribers will receive 2-3 bottles of Creekside wine right to their door if they sign up by Friday, April 15! I had the chance to sit down and taste through a nice selection of their portfolio's current releases so I thought I'd check back on my impressions and find new standouts for this year.
From my earliest experience with the winery, I was immediately impressed with what winemaker Rob Power was able to do with Sauvignon Blanc. Not many wineries in Ontario focus on Sauvignon Blanc, but Creekside Estate has built up a reputation for producing some of the very best. The 2014 Estate Sauvignon Blanc is as refreshing as ever, with blazing acidity, classic lemon and lime citrus fruit and subtle grassy and aromatic notes. The value is stunning. The 2013 Reserve Sauvignon Blanc mirrors the style of well-made white Bordeaux or a Californian Fumé Blanc. It expertly balances fresh citrus and tropical fruit characters with oak characters from barrel aging. This is a great wine for those who appreciate the creamy texture and buttery notes of an oak-aged white, but who also like a certain level of freshness in their glass. Save it for a summer afternoon and drink it alongside a meal out on the deck.
Keeping with the Sauvignon theme, the 2013 Iconoclast White is a Sauvignon Blanc-forward blend, which also adds Pinot Gris, Viognier and Chardonnay to the mix. It's fresh and aromatic, with tropical fruit notes, lavender perfume, and the toastiness of oak. It's worth seeking out, especially when you consider the $18.95 price tag.
For another delicious summer sipper, keep your eyes out for the Cabernet Rosé. The raspberry, cranberry, and rosehip notes jump out of the glass. It's dry, tart, and tangy, with lots of freshness and none of the green or woodsy notes that can sometimes bog down Cabernet rosés.
In the red department, I've once again been impressed by the flagship red blend 2012 Laura's Red. With its balance of juicy and dark berry fruit, earthy notes, and bright, fresh finish, it continues to offer some of the best red wine value from Niagara (and has been since its inaugural 1999 vintage). Thanks to favourable weather in 2012, this vintage includes all five Bordeaux varieties, plus a touch of Syrah (45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Franc, 3% Syrah, 2% Malbec, 1% Petit Verdot).
The 2012 Broken Press Syrah, one of Ontario's most concentrated and complex examples of the grape, is always a pleasure to taste. The 2012 is rich, soft, and juicy, with layers of those classic Rhône notes of black pepper and smoked meat. This vintage is also a lot more ready to drink immediately than I found the 2011 to be, yet it still definitely has the chops to cellar.
Buy Jake's wine picks by clicking on each bottle below - and subscribe to the Wine Club to receive 2-3 bottles of Creekside wine right to your door this month!
Jake Skakun is a writer and sommelier from Vancouver, currently living in Toronto. He can be found most days pulling corks and twisting caps at the Black Hoof. He Tweets and Instagrams @jakeskakun.