A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 890: Niagara College Teaching Winery, and a Trip down Memory Lane

Niagara College Teaching Winery wines

Niagara College Teaching Winery Viognier 2022 (St. David’s Bench)
Clear, bright, lemon yellow in colour; spicy, peach pit nose with a thread of minerality; medium-bodied, dry richly extracted peach and lemon flavour with a floral note. Drink now and through 2034. (90)

Niagara College Teaching Winery Riesling 2020 (St. David’s Bench)
Clear, bright, pale straw colour with a lime tint; medium-bodied, crisply dry, grapefruit and lychee flavours with a mineral note. Well-balanced with a long lemony finish. Can be consumed now but will last in the cellar for a decade. (91)

Niagara College Teaching Winery Riesling Brut 2018 (St. David’s Bench)
Pale straw in colour with an active mousse of tiny bubbles; apple and grapefruit zest bouquet; light-bodied, crisply dry, apple and grapefruit flavours; sustains well on the palate to a lengthy, fresh, lemony finish. Drink now or hold 1–2 years. (89)

Niagara College Teaching Winery Balance Merlot-Cabernet 2020 (St. David’s Bench)
Deep purple colour; cedary, spicy, plum and blueberry nose with oak spice; medium-bodied, dry, elegant, floral plum and red berry flavours; well-balanced and harmonious; well-structured with ripe tannins. Can be opened now but will reward 1-2 tears cellaring. (89 – 91)

Niagara College Teaching Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Unfiltered 2020 (St. David’s Bench)
Dense purple-ruby in colour; cedary, spicy, blackcurrant nose with vanilla oak notes; medium-bodied, richly extracted black and redcurrant flavours, with grainy but ripe tannins and a lively core of acidity. A well-balanced wine that needs 1–2 years to harmonize its tannins. (89–91)

Niagara College Teaching Winery Meritage 2020 (St. David’s Bench)
A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, plus Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Deep purple in colour; cedary, spicy nose of black fruits; well extracted flavours of blackcurrant and plum with toasty oak notes. Great mouthfeel. Can be consumed now but will reward cellaring for 1–2 years. (90–92)

Other wines tasted this week:

Sogrape Silk & Spice Red Blend 2011 (Portugal;, LCBO #533307, Limited time off until August 13th of $13.85 then reverts to $15.85)
35% Touriga Nacional, 35% Alicante Bouschet, 15% Baga, 10% Syrah, 5% Tinta Roriz. Dense purple in colour; black plum and mulberry nose; full-bodied, richly extracted, spicy blackberry with a port-like touch of sweetness – which is not surprising given the presence of Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz in the blend. But the lively acidity keeps the wine in balance. Creamy mouthfeel. (90)

Sogrape Gazela Vinho Verde (Portugal, $11.90, LCBO #141432)
Almost water white in colour; lemon, green pineapple bouquet; light-bodied, spritzy, crisply dry. (88)

Mateus Rosé 2021 (Portugal, $12.85 until August 13th, then $14.85)
Mateus Rosé was the first wine I ordered in a restaurant when I was getting interested in wine in my early twenties (it had been beer up till then). You can tell it’s been around a long time on LCBO shelves. Its LCBO product number is 166. They are now 6-figure numbers. The packaging has not changed much over the years – it comes in the familiar flask-shaped bottle that adorned restaurant tables in the 1980s with candle wax drippings. Deep pink in colour; minerally, raspberry nose with a reductive note; light-bodied, dry, fruity, spritzy. Easy drinking. (87)

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