About three years ago I hosted a number of Niagara wineries for a tasting to highlight in this column; we had quite a few wines to taste, and it was a fun day.
A couple months ago my wife Karen and I went to see a puppy for sale, and it turned out to be the owners of one of those wineries: Victorianborg. They graciously offered a tasting while we were there, and it hatched an idea: another wine tasting with multiple Niagara wineries, this time with Rieslings.
Duncan Ross from Arrowhead helped coordinate the wineries, and I coordinated the tasters, inviting a group of friends who enjoy white wine.
“It’s a beautiful day for a wine tasting,” stated a text the day of — and it was. Mid-70s and sunny — the perfect backdrop for a tasting on the balcony of the News building.
Each of the 18 guests took notes, highlighted here. All of these wines are available locally and all are reasonably priced. Even better, head up to Niagara County and visit the wineries yourself for a day of tasting.
Freedom Run Winery
5138 Lower Mountain Road, Lockport
2017 Semi Dry Riesling
Very smooth, nice wine, makes you want more, a wine with balance, the best wine, No. 1 hands down. Light, very enjoyable, fruity, smooth, 4 out of 5, pleasant. Smooth as silk. Pears.
2017 Vin Gris Dry Rosé
Strawberries, light strawberries, very nice, very dry, delicate, significant aftertaste, nice finish. 4.5 of 5.
8822 Pearson Road, Middleport
2015 Riesling Cuvee
A very good wine, unique feel and texture, crisp and clear, beautiful, light, definitely different and enjoyable. Could taste the smokiness, enjoyable, my favorite, foot stomping, one of my favorites. Nice label, dry throughout, good balance.
2016 Riesling Raby
Different than any wine we tasted. Didn’t taste like a Riesling, very unusual, citrus, crisp, fresh, lemony.
Victorianbourg Wine Estate
4402 East Lake Road, Wilson
Unique taste, not so dry given the fruity flavor, makes you salivate, citrus flavor, delightful — could taste all of the fruits, smooth and not too sweet.
2016 Semi-Sweet Riesling
Excellent wine. A favorite, perfect amount of sweetness. Apricots and so crisp. Nice balance of citrus and sweet. Light, fresh taste, wonderful summer wine. Seemingly you can differentiate each component flavor simultaneously.
Spring Lake Winery
7373 Rochester Road, Lockport
I have always enjoyed Spring Lake Wines. Bright and refreshing, 4.5 out of 5. Light and fruity, hints of pear. Enjoyable. Would be nice to sip on a hot day. Not too dry, a little sweet and tart. A perfect white wine.
A Gust of Sun Winery
4515 Baer Rd., Ransomville
2017 Dry Riesling
I like the apple taste, light, smooth, enjoyable, permeates your mouth.
2007 Semi-dry Riesling
Liked this wine very much, fruity, enjoyed the grapefruit taste. Fresh and dry at the same time, nice and smooth. Not too tart.
Arrowhead Spring Vineyards
4746 Town Line Road, Lockport
2017 Semi-Dry Riesling
Much citrus, lemon, smooth. A sense of carbonation.
I tasted the cherry, best of the Rosé, not heavy, lovely, 4 out of 5. Salads and sunsets, smooth, summery taste, crisp, light, casual drinking wine.
Black Willow Winery
5565 West Lake Road, Burt
Very nice, fruit forward, second best wine of the day, a really good wine with a sense of effervescence — my number one. Great. Crisp refreshing, effervescent.
2466 West Creek Road, Newfane
Smooth, pleasant on your palate, fruity, finish, mineral, dry. Citrus.
2017 Semi-Dry Riesling
Smooth and uncomplicated. On the deck wine. Wonderful, burst of sweetness. Thoroughly enjoyed this taste. Slight citrus flavor.
2017 Riesling Rosine
Smooth, mango taste, earthy aftertaste, very enjoyable, light, smooth, enjoyed the fruitiness, very different from any of the other wines, great. 4.5 out of 5. Very unusual and summery, interesting and different, I don’t know how to describe this wine. Complete fruits.
Warren T. Colville is publisher and president of The Buffalo News.