Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Arrowhead Springs Winery

Duncan and Robin Ross planted their vineyard on a cool day in May of 2006. Their vineyard is located in the Niagara Escarpment American Viticultural Area wine-growing region. The hills that support their vines slope from South-East to North-West. They have 65 rows of grapes planted, divided amongst the varietals of Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc. They adherence to low yield practices to increase the fruit intensity.

I recently caught up with Robin while she was in town to do a tasting. She had slogged five-and-a-half hours in the snow and rain. I felt so bad for her. But for me, it was an opportunity to sample some of their wonderful wines.

Arrowhead Spring Vineyards 2008 Estate Chardonnay Reserve
The estate grown Reserve Chardonnay was fermented in French and Eastern European oak barrels, then aged for 13 months. Not usually my cup of tea. I like more minerally stuff. But this was only slightly buttery, showing only a hint of oak. Rich, complexly. Really sophisticated. Excellent!

Arrowhead Spring Vineyards 2008 Estate Syrah Wine
Their estate Syrah is made in a French style, aged one year in American Puncheons (large barrels) and smaller French oak barrels. This dry red is lighter than you might expect if you're used to more plum and prune from California Syrahs. But as an easterner you shouldn't expect that. This wine has plum, a hint of Cassis, and pepper. It's almost like a Pinot. It's very lovely, with an excellent, peppery finish.

Apogee Red NV
According to them: A composition 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Sangiovese and 20% Cabernet Franc, this wine is hand crafted from the best fruit chosen through a meticulous sorting process. It is aged for 22 months in French oak barrels; the best of these lots are then selected for use in Apogee. The goal is making the best possible wine, rather than emphasizing individual varietal character. 86 points, Wine Enthusiast.

This was my favorite. A great combination of bright and dark fruits. Cherry. Plum. Raspberry. A touch of vanilla. A big, dry finish, with nice acidity and nice tannins. Really fabulous!

Arrowhead Spring Vineyards 2008 Lockport Red Wine
This is their "Port Style" meritage wine made from 29% Merlot and 71% Cabernet Franc. The wine is aged in new American oak barrels for 10 months and has 18% alcohol and 5% residual sugar. A very nice port!

Arrowhead Spring Vineyards 2008 Vidal Ice Wine
Layers of honey and peach make for a wonderful golden dessert wine with just thr right amount of sweetness and acidity. Very nice!

Go to Arrowhead Spring Vineyards....instantly one of the best wineries in the Niagara region.