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Blues Brother As Cool As Icewine
Writer:Rick VanSickle, Sun Media

It was great to see the new kid on the block, Dan Aykroyd, pick up the wine of the year award at the Ontario Wine Awards recently.
The Dan Aykroyd Signature Reserve Vidal Icewine 2005 ($80 for a half bottle at Vintages) scored an amazing average of 94.5 from the judges. The high mark is justifiable.
This is a truly exquisite sweet wine that takes a lot of its personality from the oak barrel aging, which is rare with icewines.
The nose is a beautiful union of candied apricot, toffee, peach puree and honeycomb. It explodes on the palate with all those aromas following harmoniously.
Some of the other award winners included:
- EastDell Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2006 ($19 at eastdell.com, gold medal) -- A creamy, pear, tropical fruit nose topped with a kiss of butterscotch. A wonderful bead of pineapple runs through the core of this fleshy chard with plenty of toasty-spicy oak and elegant mouth feel. A wine made for butter-soaked seafood.
- Chateau des Charmes Estate Bottled Riesling ($17 Vintages, gold medal) -- Citrus and orange blossom nose that's pretty and not overt. The wine is broad on the palate with lemon-lime flavours with just a touch of honey, minerality and balancing acid.
- Chateau des Charmes Estate Bottled Sauvignon Blanc 2006 ($16 Vintages, silver medal) -- A pleasant nose of soft citrus and melon fruit. The flavours are bright, refreshing and vibrant on the palate with plenty of zippy lemon and grapefruit flavours.
A list of all the winners can be found at ontariowine awards.ca.
Consumers can also taste most of the winning wines at Sip Ontario, taking place June 17 at Toronto's Distillery District Fermenting Cellar.
Up to 30 Ontario wineries will be on hand to showcase their award-winning wines during the evening event. Tickets are $50. For more information, contact Forefront Communications at tickets@forefrontcom.com.
Here are a few other Niagara wines I've enjoyed recently:
- Kacaba Vineyards Horizon Ridge Sur Lie Chardonnay 2006 ($16 at kacaba.com) -- This is the first time I have tasted wines from this Vineland winery. The chardonnay is a vanilla-cinnamon-allspice-laced tropical fruit bomb with interesting layers of fruit and spice. It's full-bodied and richly spiced on the palate showing vanilla and pear -tropical fruit notes.
- Kacaba Vineyards Pinot Gris 2007 ($17) -- Apple-melon aromas lead to a crisp, green apple and lemon palate. It's a vibrant and puckering white built for hot days.
- Chateau des Charmes St. David's Bench Vineyard Gewurztraminer 2006 ($20 Vintages) -- I'm a sucker for the exotic, lush aromas of spicy lychee nut in this Alsatian-style gewurz. The palate reveals ripe, sweetish tropical fruit to go with more lychee. A glorious wine and perfect for spicy Asian food.
Enjoy!