Wine Note Feb 24

2021 Pillitteri Vidal Icewine (Lidl £13.99 per half bottle)

If ever there was a wine for cold weather, this is it.

It’s made in Niagara-on-the Lake in Canada from grapes picked at a temperature of below minus 8C, when the water content of the fruit turns to ice. The grape is vidal, a hybrid variety that can survive the cold winters. 

It’s not easy to make. The harvest weather is the opposite of that experienced during the warm autumns usually associated with grape picking and juice extraction and fermentation are far harder to carry out than they are for ‘normal’ grapes.

The result, however, is a wine which is sweet and concentrated; the water in the grapes has been converted to ice which then is removed before fermentation.

The sugar in the wine is well balanced by acidity and there are flavours of apricot and apple.

£13.99 for half bottle may seem expensive but when you consider the difficult work that goes into it, it’s very little to pay for such a special experience.

John Freeland (u3a Wine Tasting Group)