Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Cattail Creek Family Estate Winery 2006 Family of Rieslings - $15 - $20

There’s yet another new winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Cattail Creek. They have been growing grapes since sometimes in the 50’s and Riesling growers since ’76. They have a variety of clones on the property along with old and young vines. According to Roselyn, co-owner with her husband Andrew, the young vines add the acidity while the older vines add the finesse. Riesling is big in Niagara and is considered by many to be one of the regions best grape varieties. Which probably explains the reason that Cattail Winery makes 3 unique styles.

The Dry is a zero, made up from 81% of those young Riesling vines … peach and lime make up the nose, with tastes of peach, tart apple and a touch of petrol. This wine has lots of zip and zing, it’s dry and crisp in the mouth with a lengthy white peach and Granny Smith finish – those youngsters certainly did their job.

The Off-Dry is 100% young vines, but along with that acidity they left a little sweetness behind. Pure apple and peach hit the nose while the mouth gets tropical with cantaloupe melon, pineapple, some papaya, sweet peach and a touch of apple nuance … very tasty – but not the 3 it claims to be, as the biting young acidity cuts through the sweetness making it taste like a one. Best part of this wine is as you sip on it the flavours become more prominent in the mouth.

Finally, the Reserve is comprised of three clones made mainly from the old vines and the Alsatian. Floral, peach and lemon aromas are followed by minerals, limestone, slate and wetstone … the fruit is orange blossom with a surprising spicy peppery like finish. It flows smoothly through the mouth then hits the throat with a crisp, spicy, citrus end. You can just feel the petrol notes getting ready to develop here … lie this one down to enjoy in a few years … better yet, lie them all down and see what happens.

If Cattail Creek keeps making wines like these they’ll definitely be a winery to watch.

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