1985 Great Western (NY) Vidal Ice Wine

I think the cork on this wine allowed a little too much oxygen in- probably wasn’t designed to hold it this long. I got the wine from a friend, who worked for Great Western Winery, which was part of the Taylor’s Company in the Finger Lakes of NY; it is now part of Constellation, but the brand does not exist anymore. In those days this was an experimental wine; ice wines were just being trialled in Canada (only 100 mles away) and in various parts of NY State. the wine was incredibly intense and long flavoured, but very brown looking, sweet but with very high natural acidity (1.3 grams- where typical Australain wines might be 0.3-0.6). the flavour was grapey- like ripe grapes tasted but with peachy and nectarine overtones.

I left some out to try again tonight to see how it tastes when I am a bit more sober.(Yesterday was our 25th wedding anniversary). Vidal is a French American hybrid grape, mainly from Ugni Blanc and grows really well, but makes relatively insipid wines. However, it lasts on the vine a long time and develops interesting stone fruit flavours and stays there until freezing- which many grpaes don’t do. Inniskillen and other canadian producers use it as well, so you might see it if you are looking at ice wines. – Larry Lockshin