Friday, December 10, 2010

Niagara Peninsula Winery Visit: Kacaba Vineyards and Winery

Another in our series of reports on Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, winery visits.

We really packed things in during our recent visit to Ontario’s wineries in the Niagara Peninsula. Kacaba Vineyards and Winery was the 11th winery we visited on this day. Wow. But sometimes you have to travel down the road a ways before you reach the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The weather, which was overcast and drizzling, had cleared up and we were ready for an amazing wine experience.

Kacaba produces ultra-premium wines and is a leader in sustainable agriculture practices. The vineyards are meticulously tended with roses accenting each row. (Roses are more sensitive to disease than the grapes and so serve as an early warning system for the vines.)

The winery has beautiful grounds and by the time you have strolled into the Neo-Victorian tasting room, you are in a great mood – even before you’ve sampled any of Kacaba’s goods.

We started with the 2008 Unoaked Chardonnay. This had a hint of minerality with a bit of peach and light fruit. We rated it as just OK. We knew that the main attraction was the reds for which the winery has garnered a gaggle of medals.

We asked our server to pour something that would really knock us out. We started with the 2007 Merlot Reserve. This has spicy, herb flavor notes and is full-bodied. This is a big Merlot with black cherry and toasted oak. A bottle retails for $42.95.

Glorious T and Ace of Bass went for the 2007 Meritage Reserve. This was a beautifully balanced wine. It is a ble
nd of 42% Cabernet Franc, 37% Cabernet Sauvignon and 21% Merlot. The flavors danced in complex layers. Espresso and dried fruit aromas lead to flavors of blackberry and black pepper. This is worth the drive to Ontario! Priced at $44.95.

The 2007 Cabernet Franc Reserve was dark and chewy. This had tobacco leaf and black currant flavors. This was very tasty but needed additional time to come into its own.

The 2007 Proprietor’s Reserve Syrah was perhaps the best wine we sampled during the day where we visited an even dozen wineries. Kacaba was the first winery in the area to plant Syrah, and they have produced a masterful wine. Our tasting team termed it “completely awesome.” The wine is rich and complex with a smoky aroma and full body. The flavor has caramel and vanilla wafted with black fruit. The wine brought smiles to our faces as we savored hanging out in a great Niagara winery on a beautiful day with great wine. You can buy a case of the Proprietor’s Reserve for a mere $840 or a bottle for $70. Totally worth it.

This wine was named Wine of the Year in Canada and is made from one of the oldest plantings in Canada. It is the first red wine from Ontario to take the honor.

Kacaba is one of the brightest stars in the Niagara wine scene.

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