While in Niagara-on-the-Lake last week I tried a Peller Estates 2019 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.
Ontario Cabernet Sauvignon limps rather badly except perhaps those from Lake Erie North Shore. The Peller Cabernet Sauvignon was virtually lifeless and lacking character. I suppose you can say this proves my point.
Now how about the Peller Estates 2018 Private Reserve Meritage. The label disappoints by not giving the varietals (nor their percentage) in the red blend but they are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Ontario excels in Cabernet Franc.
On the nose there is vibrant black cherry, rhubarb, cactus pear and a slight infusion of milk chocolate. On the palate I do not receive a vibrant and cheery cherry nod but rather a serious and stiff meeting with gentle tannins. On the palate it is cherry in a straitjacket, Santa Rosa Plums, white pepper and dates. But all of the palate is wound up tightly like a job candidate in a third and final interview. It has a short finish. While the Cabernet Franc and Merlot do their job that laggard Cabernet Sauvignon makes a wine that could be great simply decent.
Drink by the end of 2022. Pair with a lamb burger or Manchego cheese.
(Peller Estates Private Reserve Meritage 2018, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Peller Estates, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, $26.95 (Available at the Winery only at this point), 750 mL, 12.8%, Robert K. Stephen A Little Birdie Told Me So Rating 88/100).