Ice wine, made from crushing frozen grapes, resulting in a must with sugar and acid both hugely concentrated, is an extreme form of sweet wine. The amazing sweetness is usually countered by the high acidity. Grapes have to be left on the vine, and kept healthy, through to December or even January, when they are picked on the first really, really cold night of the year. It’s a bit of a Canadian speciality, and here’s a Riesling ice wine from Peller. Because of the risk involved in making ice wine (leaving the grapes out for so long) and the miniscule yields obtained from crushing frozen bunches, ice wine is always pricey. But then this isn’t the sort of stuff you knock back by the glassful.
Peller Estates Riesling Icewine 2007 Niagara, Canada
11% alcohol. Golden colour. Intense, grapey, and sweet with pear, peach and apricot notes on the nose. The palate is viscous and intense with thick super-sweet citrus, honey and marmalade characters, with some spiciness under the super-rich fruit. There’s an amazing tension here between the sweetness and the acidity. 90/100 (UK retail is around £30 for half a bottle, so it isn’t cheap)
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