This is sort of a live tasting note, as I wanted to express my thoughts as I was drinking this.
We were at my in-laws house recently while they were out of town. They keep everything. This includes all sorts of alcohol that never gets opened or stored, just stands upright because it looks nice on the table. There was a box of 1996 Inniskillin Vidal Icewine. When I lifted the box, I was shocked to discover it had a full, untouched bottle inside. We took the bottle, left the box. The in-laws will never know, as the box is still there, standing upright and looking pretty.
A year ago we spent some time in the Niagara wine country and one of the wineries we visited was Inniskillin. I was fascinated by the icewine process, from the picking of the grapes at such extreme – and perfect for the icewine – temperatures to the pressing. We left Inniskillin (and many other wineries) with enough icewine to last a while.
We were wary of drinking the wine, not knowing enough about this
icewine to know how it would withstand a decade of standing there. It
withstood time just fine.
On opening, we were very surprised that the color had changed to a dark amber color (about the color of Bass Ale). I let mine just sit there for a bit, letting the smell of honey and orange sort of waft over me. This is definitely potent stuff on all levels.
On tasting, there is a lot of honey in the flavor – almost like a botrytis. You can also taste some alcohol, and if I didn’t know better, I’d say this was fortified. There is a lot of orange zest in the taste, as well as jasmine and other light flowers. Kevin is also picking out some strawberry. It’s quite tasty, which is a relief. The alcohol content was only 10.5% at bottling, but can that change with age? I can’t find the original residual sugar content, as that would be interesting.
I’m really enjoying this little bottle and have no doubt that we’ll knock the whole bottle out tonite, and I’ll be sad to see it go.
Our top rating again (we’ve had a lucky streak lately):
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