Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Calona Vineyards 2005 Private Reserve Pinot Noir Icewine  (Okanagan Valley)

Calona Vineyards

2005 Private Reserve Pinot Noir Icewine
(Okanagan Valley)

Red icewine is comparatively rare, either because some red varieties don’t hang onto the vines well late into the year or because there is too much demand for red table wine. Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc are the varieties most commonly pressed into icewine service in Canada.

In the 2005 vintage, Calona Vineyards – which usually gets its icewine grapes from plots near Kelowna, handy to the winery – got two picking windows on consecutive nights in early December. The rule of thumb is that an early freeze (any time before Christmas) means the winery gets to pick healthy grapes that have lost little to dehydration.

The good health usually manifests itself in the vivid and clean flavours of the wine. This wine, a lovely copper gold hue, has aromas of strawberries, spice and brown sugar. It has a luscious texture in the mouth, tasting of caramel, orange, strawberry jam and spice. The acidity balances the natural sugar perfectly, giving the wine a clean and very long finish. One brilliant serving suggestion from the winery: put two ounces into sparkling wine and make icewine’s answer to Kir Royal. 92 points.

Reviewed March 12, 2008 by John Schreiner.

The Wine

Winery: Calona Vineyards
Vintage: 2005
Wine: Private Reserve Pinot Noir Icewine
Appellation: Okanagan Valley
Grape: Pinot Noir
Price: 375ml $79.99

Review Date: 3/12/2008

The Reviewer

John Schreiner

John Schreiner has been covering the wines of British Columbia for the past 30 years and has written 10 books on the wines of Canada and BC. He has judged at major competitions and is currently a panel member for the Lieutenant Governor’s Awards of Excellence in Wine. Both as a judge and as a wine critic, he approaches each wine not to find fault, but to find excellence. That he now finds the latter more often than the former testifies to the dramatic improvement shown by BC winemaking in the past decade.