RKS Wine: “Christmas in April” Part Two: Stag’s Hollow “Tragically Vidal”

Vidal is an unremarkable grape that can shine as a second Icewine cousin to Riesling. It is by acreage the number one white grape in Ontario and #15 in British Columbia. When I saw the Vidal wine sent to me by Stag’s Hollow called “Tragically Vidal” I winced hoping the results in the bottle were not tragic! Stag’s Hollow isn’t afraid to try anything new!

I am fearing a Stag’s Hollow crash and burn with this wine however my fear was allayed by the top-quality wines they produce.  So fingers crossed it is time to be brave and try this Tragically Vidal!

It has a platinum colour. On the nose deep in its bouquet there is musk melon with honey, peach, ginger, Croatian vanilla wafer cookies and a tad of almond paste. This common grape is reaching a degree of pedigree for aromatics. On the palate it is slightly and refreshingly off dry. The residual sugar of 13.5 g/l is offset by a moderate acidity or is the fruit offsetting the acidity? Look carefully and you can see a microscopic fizz. The musk melon dominates the palate and there is a coating of honey and a bit of bittersweet Minneola orange. The finish is surprisingly long and thick.

My conclusion is that Stag’s Hollow has given the mundane Vidal a new and more positive outlook. The acidity rather wipes out my initial thoughts of off dry. In fact I am prone to saying this is a wine that pairs well with food and is best consumed with food. Although this is no Basque Txakoli white it would suit Halibut (or Fogo Island Hand Line Cod) poached in a white wine and tarragon sauce or grilled sardines, Spigola or Orata. The winery suggests and I agree the following food matchings are good; Pork, chicken, duck, fruit salads, foie gras, Cajun/Creole dishes, Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, Mexican and Chinese food and coconut curries.

Three different vineyards produced the grapes and there is 4% of Orange Muscat added in.

Drink by the end of 2022. The winery suggests drink through to 2027 but with still whites with acidity I say drink while fresh.

Given only 630 cases were produced it may be best for those east of Alberta to order from the winery.

(Stag’s Hollow 2021 Tragically Vidal, Okanagan Valley BC VQA, Stag’s Hollow Winery, Okanagan Falls, British Columbia, $20, 750 mL, 12.5%, RKS Wine Rating 91/100).

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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