Fiendishly delicious. A ripe core of true-to-varietal markers like pear and apricot, fleshed out with grilled pineapple, nectarine, subtle mushroom, honey and a zesty squeeze of lime. Texturally rich and palpably fresh. The people pleaser.
89 points, Rick Van Sickle, Wines in Niagara “It’s ripe and kicks ass on the palate with a broth of ripe orchard fruits, leesy notes, apricot and a creamy texture on a soft-ish, juicy finish. Good drinking wine for right now.”
Winery & Winemaker
Riverview Cellars Estate Winery; Alyssa Bator and Nick Salvatore.
From Riverview’s home vineyard along the Niagara River: a half acre plot, planted in 2004, at the back-end of the property on a patch of sandy loam backing onto Concession 1. The confluence of cooler year with generous site gifted a wine of balance and concentration. Harvested at 20° brix on October 1st, 2019.
Behind the Music
I’m not sure there’s a chorus clamouring for Pinot Gris in Niagara, but could it be that we’ve been looking at it wrong? Do we chase the market with crisp, inexpensive Grigio (that naturally costs more here, because, you know, Ontario…), or riper, opulent, occasionally semi-sweet and/or botrytized Alsatian versions?
We don’t quite fit into either camp, but if Chardonnay and Pinot Noir can work in Ontario, then Gris should have an inside track to making great wines. The grape may lack the natural acidic tension for life-altering results, but let’s not snub our nose at a fine glass of wine.
The majority of this cuvée was raised in stainless steel on fine lees for about nine months; 5% was aged for the same time in a 3rd use French barrique. Despite the challenges of ’19, I was taken with its bright purity – it took me back to the winery’s very first Pinot Gris bottling in 2007. Seeing that through-line from 13 years ago really affirmed the promise of the site.
The whole bottling came together quite quickly: we tasted through components on Canada Day (July 1st) and bottled thirty days thereafter on the 31st. Lightning in a bottle? I’d like to think so.