Friday, 3 September 2010
A Fortified Desert Wine
I’ve tasted several Ice Wines on my wine adventures, but I’ve never seen or heard of one that had been fortified, until now. On a recent trip home a friend bought me a bottle of Kittling Ridge Ice Wine & Brandy, which sounded like it could be very interesting.
The first thing I had look into was where did the brandy come from, and unsurprisingly it was Canadian. Produced by Kittling Ridge themselves from grapes grown in Niagara, Ontario, using traditional copper stills and then age the brandy in small oak casks for seven years.
The Ice Wine is made from the Vidal Blanc grape, and as with other Canadian Ice Wine the grapes aren’t harvested till the temperature drops to minus eight degrees Celsius, to ensure most of the water is frozen to leave a very sweet and concentrated grape must. It is then fermented in steel tanks and bottled; it receives no oak ageing in this case.
To blend the two of these together I thought the brandy would have completely over powered the flavours and aromas of the Ice Wine; however I was very pleasantly surprised.
In the glass you had this bright lemony gold colour, which you could almost see the sweetness of the wine due to its viscosity. On the nose you got these wonderfully pronounced aromas of tropical fruit and almonds with floral notes coming through in the background. To taste it was as you could imagine, lusciously sweet that almost coated your mouth with the fruit flavours, then came the warming sensation of the Brandy, which just complimented the Ice Wine superbly. Their was a low level of acidity which cut through the sweetness perfectly making it all faultlessly balanced and an amazing drink, not what I would have expected.
This fortified desert wine, due to the Brandy was not as sweet as Ice Wine, but beautifully blended to extract all the aromas and flavours of each component, without either one over powering the other. Would I recommend this, absolutely, it took an amazing wine and added another completely dimension, without ruining either.