1.WEINGUT MARKUS HUBER BERG RIESLING EISWEIN
Ice wine (Eiswein in Germany and icewine in Canada) is a rich, flavorful and rare dessert wine. To make ice wine, the winemaker leaves the grapes on the vine, long after traditional harvest season has ended, hoping neither rain nor hungry wildlife gets the grapes first. As soon as the temperature drops sufficiently and the grapes freeze, the grapes must be picked before dawn, and pressed before they thaw. Because much of the water in the grapes is frozen, the pressed juice is concentrated, rich in flavor and high in sugar and acidity.
2.PELLER ESTATES SIGNATURE SERIES – BEST SPLURGE
This one’s definitely a splurge, but if you consider that each grape (supposedly) yields but one drop of sugary-sweet juice, you might get why. Made with Cabernet Franc, with an interplay of complex red fruits and even some supple tannins (10% of the wine is aged in French oak). Round red flavors, at once bright and brambly.
3. HUNT COUNTY VINEYARDS VIDAL BLANC ICE WINE
With higher levels of acidity and sugar, ice wine is typically a good candidate for aging. Over time, brighter notes tend to recede and let a slightly richer, deeper character come out, as with this bottle from 2007—darker than a young ice wine, with notes of raisin intermingling with the more traditional apricot and lighter, honeyed fruits.
4. CASA LARGA CABERNET FRANC ICE WINE
Another slightly aged ice wine, this one made from Cab Franc, with intermingling sweet and dry red fruit flavors (think cherry, strawberry, cranberry, pomegranate). There’s less forward sweetness, tamed a bit by age, allowing the fruit to softly play a lead role.
5. NIGL GRÜNER VELTLINER EISWEIN
Eiswein is one of the estate’s sweet wine specialities. While we can produce noble sweet wines (Auslese, BA and TBA) in exceptional years only, we make Eiswein nearly every year. Grüner Veltliner is especially good for Eiswein. Because of this variety’s thick skin, the grapes can hang on the vines for a very long time without any damage occurring. According to the Austrian wine law (unlike other countries) the grapes must be frozen naturally and can be harvested at a minimum temperature of -7°C.
6.INNISKILLIN GOLD OAK AGED VIDAL ICEWINE
Vidal is a hybrid (Ugni Blanc and Seibel) that has a thick skin suitable for harvesting late in the season. It is the grape grown most for Icewine in Ontario. It’s good natural acidity gives great structure to the lusciousness of its tropical aromas and flavors of mango and lychee. Inniskillin Vidal Icewine is made in two distinct styles-without oak aging for fresh fruit emphasis and with oak aging for added complexity.
7.JACKSON-TRIGGS PROPRIETORS’ RESERVE VIDAL ICEWINE
If you want to sample some really good ice wine, you can buy this one in 187 mL sizes. But go for the bigger bottle and you’ll get twice as much golden, tropical fruit, pure honey, and florals lingering over a long, luxurious finish.
8.DR. LOOSEN RIESLING EISWEIN
Germany—where eiswein started—tends to put out a slightly subtler product than Austria, complex and surprisingly gentle. This offering from the Mosel region seeps with lush light honey and apple as well as florals and the bright, pure freshness you’ve (by now) come to expect out of your eiswein (and ice wine).
9.HENRY OS PELHAM RIESLING ICEWINE
Expertly crafted, this stunning Icewine is a study in elegance, with notes of candied citrus fruit, poached pear, ripe peach, honey and spice balanced by refreshing acidity. Charming with a plate of artisanal cheeses or freshly baked apple pie.
10. MAGNOTTA VIDAL ICE WINE
When Magnotta celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2010, no doubt this crowd-pleasing Icewine was part of the fun. Luscious and sweet with apricot, candied peach, toffee and honey. A decadent match for aged cheeses, pecan pie or pineapple upside-down cake.