| Cave Spring Cellars
| Winemaker, Angelo Pavan
|| Riesling Dolomite 2009, $16
| Available at Winery only
Cave Spring is Niagara’s, ah, heck, let’s just say Canada’s, best producer of Riesling and, as far as I’m concerned, up there with some of the best in the world.
The winery’s top cuvee, the CSV (Cave Spring Vineyard) Riesling, is a stunning example of what this grape can do in the right vineyard and in the right winemaker’s hands. It brings everything to the table: fruit, acid, minerality, balance and that special sense of place, that little thing called terroir.
Cave Spring has a full spectrum of wonderful Rieslings in its portfolio, but one that was only introduced a few years ago, the Dolomite, has been a favourite of mine since its inception.
The wine is named for the layers of dolomitic limestone unique to the Niagara Escarpment. Through the forces of erosion, these rock strata have come to enrich the soils of the escarpment’s benchlands. Dolomite’s fruit is sourced from selected vineyards along those gentle slopes and the calcareous clays contribute to the intense aromatics and mineral textures that are its signature.
The 2009 version of this wine, just released at the winery, is the best Dolomite I have tried. The fruit is 58% Beamsville Bench with the rest from the Twenty Mile Bench, both estate grapes. The wine’s residual sugar (10 grams per litre) is balanced off by racy acidity (pH 2.86).
The nose provides inviting aromas of grapefruit, lime and ripe, summer peach that mingle with just a hint of stony minerals.
The first impression in the mouth is a zesty, vibrant rush of acidity that washes over the palate clearing the way for waves of lime-citrus concentrate and succulent peach flavours.
It’s a serious, young Riesling made in an austere style that will reveal more mineral notes buried beneath the acid and fruit with time in the cellar.
Dolomite might not be the very best Riesling in Niagara, but it certainly is a wine of exquisite quality available at price most wine lovers can (or should) afford.
Written by Rick VanSickle
Rick VanSickle is a freelance wine writer who works, lives and plays in Niagara.