Monday, February 15, 2010

Inniskillin Winery
(Photograph taken by Kevin Brochu)

Inniskllin Wines is by far the most famous and world-renowned Canadian Winery. Inniskillin’s founders, Karl Kaiser and Donald Ziraldo were the first to use premium Vitis Vinifera grapes in Canada. They opted out from using the Concord grape, which was the standard grape to use at the time. Vitis Vinifera grapes have higher levels of acidity and sugar and are more delicate then Concord grapes. These higher levels give the wine much more complexity, however the grapes are difficult to grow in Niagara's cool climate. In 1975, Inniksllin was the first winery to be granted a winery license in Ontario. Although Inniskllin is known for producing the best Ice wine in the world, they also make world-class Chardonnay. Because the Niagara Region is a cool climate it provides the ideal temperature for growing Chardonnay grapes. This is why the Niagara Region produces some of the best Chardonnay in the world.

I tasted and judged the 2007 Reserve Series Chardonnay, 2008 Montague Vineyard Chardonnay, 2007 Wine Makers Series Chardonnay and the 2007 Founders Series Chardonnay.

2007 Reserve Series Chardonnay – 14.95$

Visual: Golden honey.

Aroma: Pear, vanilla, very floral and hazelnut.

Flavour: Crisp acidity, clean finish, baked apples, cinnamon, baked almonds, nice fruit and oak balance.

My opinion: This is a phenomenal wine. It is very well layered with very good floral and creamy aromas. The flavour was very well balanced with a well layered body. There was a lot of baked apples, cinnamon, baked almonds and creamy oaky flavours. The 2007 Reserve Series Chardonnay is a very good buy especially at 14.95$ a bottle.

My rating: 78/100 – I highly recommend this wine.

2008 Montague Vineyard Chardonnay– 18.95$

Visual: Dark straw colour.

Aroma: Toasty oak, apple and pear.

Flavour: Velvet texture, big body, hint of butterscotch, very well structured, pineapple, apple and spicy oak.

My opinion: This wine has a very well structured body with a nice velvet and smooth finish. There is nice oak and apple aroma on the nose with a lovely spicy oak, butterscotch and pineapple flavour. Even though this wine is till relatively young it displays a nice flavour and aroma. The 2008 Montague Vineyard is still a nice wine for the price. However, it still needs a little bit of time to age until it reaches its true potential.

My rating: 73/100 – This is an ok wine.

2007 Wine Makers Series Chardonnay – 17.95$

Visual: Dark straw colour.

Aroma: Toasty oak, caramel, butterscotch, cinnamon and citrus fruit.

Flavour: Butter, vanilla, butterscotch and citrus fruit.

My opinion: The 2007 Wine Makers Series Chardonnay is a well-balanced Chardonnay with a very nice aroma. I could sit down and smell this wine all day without even drinking it. The aroma of butterscotch, cinnamon, citrus fruit and toasty oak is almost overpowering. The flavour is also nice displaying rich creams and nice citrus fruit, but it is not as dominant as the aroma. This is a very nice wine for 17.95$ and its one that I would go back and purchase.

My rating: 78/100 – I recommend this wine.

2007 Founders Series Chardonnay – 29.95$

Visual: Dark golden honey.

Aroma: Tropical fruit, vanilla, butterscotch and caramel.

Flavour: Toffee, butter, butterscotch, vanilla, hazelnut, baked almonds, nice acidity and very is full bodied.

My opinion: The aroma is astonishing, you can smell velvety creamy aromas, vanilla, butterscotch and tropical fruit. By smelling this wine, I was able to tell that there was a huge body and it was very complex. As I tasted, I immediately noticed a massive body displaying huge flavours of cream, butter, butterscotch, hazelnut, toffee, and baked apples. This wine is capable of competing with some of the best Chardonnays in the world and has the body and structure to age for 10-12 years minimum.

My rating: 90/100 – This wine is a must for special occasions. I highly recommend this wine.


  1. Kevin this is great. I will admit I am not the biggest fan of Chards, however, I will have one with popocorn or caramel popcorn at times believe it or not. As for icewine, I cannot get enough of it. I'm beginning to think someone should invent ice wine shampoo, soap,lipgloss etc. I would have icewine in the morning, noon and night.

  2. I agree with Joanna, with exception to the ice wine beauty products as they might be a little too much for me. Your reviews are great though. I think I might just have to try the reserve and the founders!! I love those flavours you mentioned and they might just be what it will take to convert me into a Chard man.

  3. I agree with Joanna, I can't get enough of icewine. It is delicious.