Monday, September 27, 2010

Niagara Peninsula Ontario Winery Visit: Fielding Estate Winery

Another in our series of Niagara Peninsula Ontario winery reports.

Fielding Estate Winery’s cedar, stone and glass lodge-style tasting room is set high on the Beamsville Bench in a wonderfully wooded area of the Niagara Escarpment. The large windows provide a great showcase for the vineyards – and also for viewing a downpour (we made it inside just before the sky opened up).

Fielding is one of the top 10 wineries in Canada and it is easy to see why. The tasting room is a real showcase and it has a diverse catalog of wines with friendly, professional staff.

I started with the complimentary sample of the 2008 Gewürztraminer. This had a dash of spice and ginger along with tropical fruit. We found this to be not as aggressive as some of the Ontario Gewurz we have tried. Although I like the floral aspect of Gewurztraminer, Green Dragon doesn’t. She found this to be a very pleasant surprise.

Fielding concentrates on wine varieties that perform well in their vineyards, for white wine this includes Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer and Riesling. One of their popular white blends is White Conception and we tried the 2008 vintage. The blend includes Pinot Gris, Chardonnay Musque, Gewurz, Riesling and Chardonnay. That’s quite a mouthful! This had flavor notes of honeysuckle, pears and almond. The flavors were not as complex as I would have hoped. This goes for $18.95 CA and is an enjoyable bottle.

To keep my balance, I next tried the Red Conception. This is a blend of Merlot, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. With one sip you are tasting some of the top red grape varieties in the world. This had dark cherry and blackberry with a medium finish. This was flavorful, but others in our tasting team favored the less expensive 2008 Fireside Red. The Fireside Red is 84% Cabernet Sauvignon with the remainder Cab Franc. Either is a good bet with the prices $18.95 and $15.95 respectively.

The final taste was of the 2006 Meritage. We love Meritage, the designation for America’s version of a Bordeaux blend that is typically reserved for the winery's best. This is a Cabernet Sauvignon – Merlot blend that delights the taste buds. This is a gold-medal winner that is priced at $36 – not bad for a world-class quality wine. The ‘07 Meritage is reputed to be even better – named as the best red blend in Canada. The blend formula is different, with Merlot taking center stage followed by Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. I’m sure the price is worth it ($60 CA), but we weren’t even half-way through our Canadian swing. In the interest of not breaking the budget we opted for a bottle of the ‘06.

Fielding gives you a great taste of Canada in many ways: the beautiful scenery, expansive tasting lodge, friendly servers and top-rated wine. This is a must see when you visit the wineries of Niagara Peninsula.

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