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Eight Ontario wines that are worth ordering straight from the winery

Some of the province’s most exciting bottles aren’t always available at the LCBO

Eight Ontario Wines WHITE
No. 1
Creekside 2009 Sauvignon Blanc Reserve
$27 | Creek Shores, Niagara | 91 points Creekside makes award-winning one-off wines. This one took best sauvignon blanc at Ontario’s 2011 Cuvée Awards. It has a powerful nose of cedar, persimmon and kiwi. It’s medium-full, rich yet poised. www.creeksidewine.com

No. 2
Hidden Bench 2009 Nuit Blanche
$40 | Beamsville Bench, Niagara | 90 points This organic, barrel-aged blend of sauvignon and sémillon has been shocking wine pundits with its symphony of lime, mint, cedar and smoke set in an elegant, dry structure. Cellar for two years. www.hiddenbench.com
No. 3
Malivoire 2009 Mottiar Chardonnay
$30 | Beamsville Bench, Niagara | 92 points This classic, mineral-driven wine exudes fresh apple and pear aromas with almond, peat and gentle spice. It garnered top honours in a blind tasting at the 2011 Cuvée Awards. www.malivoire.com
No. 4
Norman Hardie 2008 Cuvee L Chardonnay
$49 | Ontario | 93 points Ontario’s terroir maestro has made a stunning Cuvee L. Now maturing, it has seamless elegance, with complex aromas of flint, yellow apple, plum and clove. The length counts in minutes. www.normanhardie.com
RED
No. 5
Exultet Estates 2009 Pinot Noir
$55 | Prince Edward County | 90 Points From a tiny winery housed in a 19th-century cheese factory, this pinot is light, nervy and floral. Although it’s young and slightly brittle now, there’s something exciting about the violet, blackberry and herbal aromatics. www.exultet.ca
No. 6
Five Rows Craft Winery 2008 Shiraz
$50 | St. Davids Bench, Niagara | 90 Points St. Davids is warm enough to produce big reds. This one lacks the richness of an Aussie shiraz, but fans of French syrah will love the lifted mulberry-blueberry fruit, meatiness and lavender scent. www.fiverows.com
No. 7
Keint-He 2007 Pinot Noir
$45 | Prince Edward County | 92 Points Geoff Heinricks is the viticultural godfather of Prince Edward County. His unusual, alluring handcrafted pinot noir is now evolving to its best with complex cherry, foresty flavours and silken texture. Incredible flavour depth. www.keint-he.ca
No. 8
Ravine Vineyard 2008 Cabernet Franc Reserve
$55 | St. Davids Bench, Niagara | 92 Points No one is making better cabernet franc in Ontario than Ravine. This one has a nose of violets, sour cherries, raspberry, mocha and smoke. It’s medium-weight, very smooth and stylish. www.ravinevineyard.com
 

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