A golden sunset in late August. The warmth of 2020 is on display with white peach, apple crumble, honey-glazed pineapple, honeydew melon and brioche. Texturally rich yet palpably fresh. The people pleaser.
91 points, Rick Van Sickle, Wines in Niagara “…vibrant, pure nose of summer peach, melon, crisp apple, and citrus notes. It’s juicy and clean on the palate with ripe orchard fruits of pear, apple, peach, and nectarine with a pinch of spice. It’s fleshy yet lifted from mouth-watering acidity.”
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. Harvested early at 20.20° Brix on September 21st, 2020.
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; 10% was aged for the same time in a 4th use French barrique. This is the second time making a Pinot Gris, though they are two wildly different vintages. The small increase in oak use from 2019 to 2020 is a consequence of the intense heat. With more oomph to work with, the nominal proportion change made sense. While I favour whites of cooler years generally, there’s a lot to enjoy about this drink-me-now expression. A fine stand-in for Chardonnay drinkers, and a marked step up from lean examples of Pinot Grigio.