Rollingdale Winery2006 Portage "Sweet Tooth Series" Icewine, Estate Vineyard
Happy accidents happen. When Rollingdale co-owner and winemaker Steve Dale bought this vineyard several years ago, it came with Maréchal Foch grapes. It is not a variety he likes for table wine. Intending to pull out the plot, he ignored it in 2005. When an early December freeze happened, he picked the small quantity of Foch grapes and, for a lark, made 37 litres of icewine. It was so good that in 2006, he retained the Foch and made a lot more.
Because Foch has dark red juice, icewine made from the grape has an appealingly rich dark colour. Unfortunately for Dale, something of an icewine specialist, the variety was never put on the Vintners’ Quality Alliance list of approved icewine grapes. That explains why Dales does not call this icewine on the label, although he does on his website.
Picked and pressed at -15°C, the grapes have produced a bold, jammy wine with aromas of strawberry and fig jam and flavours that run from plum to black cherry and dark chocolate. The texture is rich and voluptuous. If the painter Rubin has created at icewine, this would be it. 88 points.
Reviewed March 12, 2008 by 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.