Updated 11/16 with tasting notes …
I enjoy taking trips to Niagara to the wineries, the Inn’s and the wonderful food that has become a part of the wine industry. It’s a lovely place to visit and so close to home. I’ve been to Ridgepoint on a number of occasions and keep going back. They have some unique wines at Ridgepoint. They have planted an acre of Nebbiolo grapes. These are the grapes used in Italian Barolo’s and Barbaesco’s, a testimonial to the owner’s Italian background. I’ve always found the staff at Ridgepoint knowledgeable, friendly, approachable and attentive. Today we really lucked out that it was super slow which gave them lots of time to spend with us, which I REALLY appreciated. Ridgepoint has a lovely “casual dining” experience where they serve lots of Italian style food. We had the wild boar sausage that was prepared for us by the dish’s creator Christopher Knight. It was delicious. Each time I’ve been there the food has been excellent and at a fair price. In the summer they have nice big patio. They are very accommodating and unpretentious. We stopped by one time after mountain biking in Short Hills Provincial park and they welcomed us! Milly (spelling???) served us and she was excellent! Laura took care of us in the tasting room and spent lots of time explaining the wines, setting up a flight for us, just the right way! All in all I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Ridgepoint. I highly recommend a stop at Ridgepoint.
Here’s a mini review of the wines we tasted:
2007 Pinot Noir $25.25. This wine is pale in color with a mild pinot varietal nose. A little earthy, some rustic scents coming through. On the mid pallet wine is a smooth well balanced pinot with those same rustic earthy tones coming through. This is a milder pinot noir. So much so that Lorraine who was with me, who does not like pinot noir’s normally enjoyed this one! On the finish the wine is nice and dry with a medium finish. A very nice Pinot. I would give it an 89 or so.
2008 Merlot $14.25
My regular readers know I have a narrow version of what Merlot ought to taste like. Plum is what I look for. This wine is not a bad wine with some nice complexity, reasonable finish and lots of dark berries coming through, but to my tastes, this is more like a cab than a Merlot. I would give it an 88 or so. Still not a bad wine.
2007 Meritage $25.25. This wine is 35% cab sauv 35% merlot and 27% cab franc (no idea what the other 3% is, either I wrote it down wrong or …). The wine is dark in color with a nose of dark berries again. You can get the cab franc on the nose for sure. The wine has a very nice finish, medium in length with some tannins and oak that are well under control. I enjoyed this wine and was one the wines we had at lunch. I would give this a solid 89. Very nice. Check LCBO stock
2006 Nebbilolo $40. This wine is dark in color with lots of earthy notes coming up. The wine has some lovely dark berry, deep rich flavors consistent with a Barbaresco. Ridgepoint have done it. They have made a pretty reasonable facsimile of an Italian Nebbiolo. The wine is big with lots of pallet coating tannins. This wine will go fabulous with a steak or lamb. I was thrilled to be able to finally sample (and buy this wine!). I would give it a solid 89. Very well done. Niagara is not kind to this grape. It hates our winters!
2007 Chard $20.25. This wine is yellow in color (not quite golden). On the nose this wine is a varietal (albeit milder) chard. On the mid pallet are some varietal flavors with some butter coming through. This is a light well made chard. On the finish the wine is medium in length with some nice flavors lingering but not all that strong. This is a finesse wine. I would give this one an 88.
2008 Riesling Dry $15.26. Very pale in color with a varietal nose of honey suckle. Not too sweet though. On the mid pallet with wine is a lovely dry riesling, smack on. The finish is on the lighter side of medium. This one is displacing the Cave Springs as my favorite Niagara Riesling now. The current year from Cave Springs, even the dry one, is just too sweet for my tastes. I really enjoyed this one and would give it an 89-90!
All in all I was impressed with my visit to Ridgepoint. They are doing better and better each year hitting the points where Niagara does well while still having room to innovate. Ridgepoint wines are good value for your money. I hope they are able to continue the pace of continuous improvement! Great job folks.