While the country might be best known for its icewine, Canadian still and sparkling wines are well worth seeking out. Canada is still a relatively new player in the drier end of the wine market – until the 1970s, most Canadian wine was sweet, but a handful of wineries sprung up and the country hasn’t looked back.
No single grape variety dominates – in fact, there’s healthy competition, with a host of international varieties including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon grown in the twin heartlands of Ontario and British Columbia.
This year’s IWSC saw an impressive haul of medals for Canadian wine. An icewine Cabernet Sauvignon from Inniskillin Niagara performed well this year, scoring 95/100 and earning a Gold Medal. The judges were impressed with its ‘ultra-penetrating concentration and focus’, describing it as ‘an absolute stunner.’
Another red also took a top spot, with Blasted Church Vineyards’ Small Blessings Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 awarded a Gold Medal for its ‘beautifully defined fruit’ and ‘delightfully integrated balsamic and red plum palate.’
For whites, Riesling was a standout, including Jackson-Triggs Okanagan Estate Winery’s Reserve Riesling Icewine 2018 and Alventory’s Riesling Icewine 2020, both scoring 95/100 and the former impressing with its ‘delightful honey, stone fruit and creamy baked citrus aromas,’ and the latter for its ‘layers of delicate lemon, ginger, almonds and sweet spice.’
Every Canadian wine in this year’s IWSC was judged by an expert panel, led by Master of Wine Dirceu Vianna Junior MW. They were assisted by Master Sommelier Eric Zwiebel, New World wine buyer at Ocado Joseph Arthur, and head sommelier at 67 Pall Mall Serdar Balkaya.
Canadian wine is a treasure trove packed with delights, and it’s a country that delivers no matter what the style. We’re delighted to present our pick of the best Canadian wines as judged by the IWSC.
HOW DO WE JUDGE THESE WINES?
We run a tightly structured, rigorous wine tasting process. That means that each wine sample is pre-poured into numbered glasses and assessed blindly by the judges. Most importantly, our IWSC wine judges are experts in their field, who work across all sectors of the wine industry. For evidence, see our full list of judges.
HOW DO WE SCORE THESE WINES?
Only the best wines sampled receive a Gold or Silver award. For example, to win Gold, wines have to score between 95 and 100 points. Meanwhile, Silver wines range from 90 to 94 points. Click here to read more on our scoring system.
MORE FROM CLUB OENOLOGIQUE
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