Monday, March 28, 2011

Niagara-on-the-Lake Winery Visit: Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Winery

Another in our series of Niagara-on-the-Lake winery reports.
Jackson-Triggs is a heavyweight on the Niagara-on-the-Lake wine scene. Chance are you have heard of them even if you have never ventured north of the border. They are well known for their icewine, which is widely available in the US.
As we were driving to the winery we noticed an odd building in the distance and weren’t quite sure what it could be – the futuristic, industrial lines looked like it could be a power plant or something from Tron Legacy. Rolling closer we realized this was in fact our destination.

Without a doubt, this is one of the most unusual and coolest winery buildings you’ll ever see.2010 Sep 04 158 It was past noon and we were ready for some food. We pulled out our cooler and picnic goodies and made ourselves at home at a picnic table with a good view of the winery and the vineyards.

The winery is a state-of-the-art facility and 20 times Jackson-Triggs
has been named Canadian Winery of the Year. The secret is out, however, and on the day of our visit, the facility was teeming with busloads of visitors. Jackson-Triggs is part of Vincor, which was purchased by Constellation, one of the world’s foremost wine and liquor companies.
2010 Sep 04 159
My tasting was somewhat limited here. The tasting room was crowded and in order to pace myself (we had been visiting other wineries), I decided to sample just a couple of selections.

My first was the 2006 Niagara Peninsula Meritage. This is a blend of 37% Cabernet Franc, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon and 27% Merlot. This had some nice raspberry and plum flavor notes, but to me, it had a rough quality – perhaps due to high tannins.

My next selection was actually a Le Clos Jordanne wine. Jackson-Triggs and Le Clos Jordanne are stable mates within the Constellation brand. I sampled the 2007 Le Gran Clos Pinot Noir. This is a super premium Pinot that lists for about $70. It has dancing flavors of chocolate and cinnamon along with red fruit. 2007 was considered a top vintage and there is no doubt this is one of the premier Pinots in Ontario.

The winery is a showcase and also offers a full experience with winery tours, culinary events, and musical performances. You can also check out icewine from four different grapes: Gewürztraminer, Cabernet Franc, Riesling, and Vidal. A sparkling Riesling icewine is also offered.
This is a NOTL must-see.

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