Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Warm as Ice

We get together with the WRXers regularly, sharing fine dinners and good wines.  More often than not, they put on the food, and SWMBO and I put up the bottles.  It’s the natural thing to do.  It’s not a matter of building up credits, or paying back, but the WRXers have had a special little sweetie in store, which was a gift from a kindred snow sports spirit.  They’ve had it for a number of years, waiting for the right occasion, and they deemed it right at a dinner with the Westies up the road.  They felt it was a good time to share something to cement the friendships forged. 
The wine in question for such a heartfelt and warming time was a 2004 Henry of Pelham Niagra Peninsula Cabernet Franc Ice Wine.  Such things are rather rare in this country, and even though they are the national vinous treasure of Canada, they are relatively rare (and expensive) there too.  And even more so, an ice wine from red grapes.  Bottled in a 200 ml bottle, which was frosted, so it looked cold, even when not.

Our first thoughts were that it was savoury and developed, maybe just a tad too much.  Brown fruits and spices with earth and meat, rather than bright red fruit.  Very sweet and racy, racy acidity to match the lusciousness.  Hardly any tannin grip to speak of, but the red wine skins and presence certainly showing.  Then as the wine warmed up from its icy cold presentation, it begun to show caramel and toffee, not too dissimilar to burnished and bottle-aged botrytised white wines.  The colour, which we thought was more red than white initially, could be interpreted as a white!  This turned out to be a most thought-provoking wine!  Thanks WRXers for making ice so warm.   

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