2017 Inniskillin Ice Wine Riesling 375 ml

Year: 2017
Appellation: Niagara Peninsula
Country: Canada
Wine Spectator: 93
Wine Advocate: 95
James Suckling: 90
Wine Enthusiast: 92
Dessert Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 9.5%
Price :
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"Fresh, this dessert white evokes floral, apricot, apple and waxy aromas and flavors. Elegant, bordering on racy despite the sweetness, ending with elderflower and lemon candy notes. Offers excellent length and a mouthwatering finish. Drink now through 2025. 1,400 cases made, 225 cases imported. -BS" (WS)

"The 2017 Riesling Ice Wine comes in with 268 grams or residual sugar, 9.98 of total acidity and a pH of 3.29. The price applies to a half bottle. Firmer on the finish and showing a lot more tension (which is only a relative term with these wines), this would easily be my pick of the stickies this issue. It's more powerful, more tightly wound and a little fresher. The finish is longer. The Vidals on their own are terrific, but this just seems to add a little something extra. That finish, of course, is delectable and succulent.

All of the dessert-wine submissions this issue were retasted the next day. This showed the most energy by far. It was arguably the only one that really improved. Drink it now or age it for a decade to allow it to acquire some more character.

I'm told these have multiple bottlings. This has a very faint bottling date stamped on the bottle (not the label). This production stamp, below the label and near the bottom of the bottle, says in tiny print (hold it up to the light) "03 18," supposedly indicating that it was bottled on September 27, 2018—although how that means September 2018 is impossible to know without some insights from the winery.

Wines in this style often age extremely well, so take the end-date drinking windows as just a placeholder. They may do better. However, as they get further out, they will change. Gentle oxidation gives them more character and takes away some of that unctuous, fruit-forward texture. Personally, I tend to like them with some age. But they are hard to resist now. These are not, of course, for the shy. They are full-on very sweet dessert wines.

On another issue, these pricey dessert wines have multiple bottlings, I'm told. That's not usually an issue at this price level, but it raises some questions for consumers. To match what I am reviewing with what you are buying, I have included the bottling dates and information on where you can find it on the bottle for each brand. One problem, to be sure, is the winery doesn't really go out of its way to provide transparency. The bottling dates are very tiny and hard to find. They are actually just production stamps on the bottle, not the label. Then, there are additional issues as well. On the Gold Vidal, the production stamp was a bit garbled in printing and hard to read. On the Riesling, the date stamp suddenly changed to just "03 18" instead of the more detailed stamp the others had.

Overall, clarity and transparency would be vastly improved with a bottling date on the label. At these prices, that shouldn't be an issue." (WA)

"Not much riesling character, but a delicious, very sweet white with sliced dried lemons and cooked apples and pears. Full and flavorful. Drink now." (JS)

"From Inniskillin's Niagara Estate, this complex and detailed wine deftly balances its 235 g/L of residual sugar against firming acidity. The lemonade and iced tea mix of an Arnold Palmer meets with rich flavors of honey, maple syrup and butterscotch. It's decadently delicious, lively and lingering. -Paul Gregutt" (WE)

Winery Notes
Winemaker Notes:
This Riesling Icewine has an abundance of vibrant aromatics including peach, pear, and lime. On the palate, notes of honey, apricot and mango are balancedby a crisp and lively acidity.

Pair with brie with lavender honey, firm aged cheddar, your favorite pate with pear or peach chutney, seared scallops with apple celery slaw, or classic baked apples.