$29.95 | Niagara Peninsula | 90 Points
Today, Ontario’s lieutenant-governor convenes various Queen’s Park dignitaries to taste the winners of his Awards for Excellence in Ontario Wines. I was on a panel in Niagara that selected 11 out 272 submissions over two days of blind tasting, and this stellar sparkler was among the chosen few. Made entirely from chardonnay, in the traditional Champagne method, and aged three years in the bottle, it highlights Ontario’s great bubbly potential.
The taste: This is light bodied, lively and crisp. The nose is a precise blend of subtle almond, dried apple, lemon and shortbread aromas, very similar to Champagne proper. There is a gentle touch of sweetness, but it’s built on a beam of minerality. The length is excellent.
How to enjoy it: Chill well, but do not serve it stone cold, as this robs it of aromatic subtleties (it has built-in refreshment anyway). Serve wherever you would enjoy Champagne, with the satisfaction of knowing you are paying $20 less.