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David Lawrason’s Weekly Wine Pick: a sprightly, award-winning Niagara riesling

Weekly Wine PickVineland Estates 2009 St. Urban Riesling

$19.95 | Niagara Escarpment | 90 points

The Ontario Wine Awards were announced in Niagara-on-the-Lake last weekend, and this classic Niagara riesling scooped a gold medal in the semi-dry riesling category, topping 23 others. Stocks are dwindling at Vintages, but the Vineland 2009 riesling that’s more widely available at the LCBO makes a great backup—after all, it did take gold in the dry riesling category.

The taste: This is a slim, elegant but intense riesling in a slightly off-dry style, but nicely pitched with lemon acidity and a touch of CO2 spritz. Look for aromas of honeyed bread, perfume and lemon pie. Very good to excellent length, with a dry, lemony and slightly mineral finish. Not as sweet as you might expect.

How to drink it: The off-dry nature makes this a great sipping riesling for a spring garden party. Don’t over-chill, and serve with seafood canapés or sushi.

Vintages. LCBO 38117