A $84.80 Merlot from Niagara. Is somebody on a psychedelic trip or simply trying to hoodwink the public? Merlots from Niagara rarely impress so what makes Two Sisters confident an $84.80 price for a 2015 Merlot is justified. Putting this honestly this must be an awesome wine or a wine that is floating around in a fool’s paradise.
A great Merlot in my opinion should take you back to 1960’s Las Vegas with Sinatra, Dean Martin or Sammy Davis crooning in a smoke-filled room. Silky and sultry?
On the nose this portrays itself as a concentrated and rich wine. Full of decadent black cherry, blackberry and a smooth vanilla overlay. On the palate this will take you back in time to The Sands as you wait for Frank to hit the stage. It is rich. It is lush. It is a heavyweight. On the palate there is a richness that takes you aback somewhat. Really you must be joking? Is this Merlot from Rutherford in California? The fruit is so seamlessly integrated with the oak it is as if it has its own identity incapable of categorization. I can try my best and say cassis, black cherry but this may be a wine that goes beyond simple descriptive terms. The finish is short but decadently delish.
If I was blind testing this I would never ever say this is from Niagara. It makes a mockery of Ontario Merlots and is in a league of its own. I mean I can try and spread the word but for Joe Q Public and even for those who can afford $84.80 a bottle is this sellable? As only 250 cases were produced it is not focusing on mass distribution. I can picture the elite (former wealthy Torontonians) of Niagara-on-the-Lake being able to afford this but what a shame this effort is priced beyond the reach of us poor plebs. But as Christmas is coming dear relatives bring me a bottle for a Prime Rib New Year’s dinner and you and I will be saying where in the hell did this wine come from? Certainly not from Ontario!
Now it helped that the 2015 Vintage in Niagara was warm and dry and 2021 is both hot and extremely dry and should be a very good year for red wines.
(Two Sisters 2015 Merlot, VQA Niagara River, Two Sisters Vineyards, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, $84.80 (available from the winery only), 750 mL, 14%, Robert K. Stephen A Little Birdie Told Me So Rating 94/100).
The winery website is https://www.twosistersvineyards.com/
After recovering from price shock this Merlot is exceptional and above my expectations for an Ontario Merlot. It raises a hope for Merlot in Ontario.
The winery is home to a lavish restaurant and a high-end tasting room second to none and I say that having visited wineries in Europe and California.