"I think the wine that impressed us all was the 1999 Indian Summer Riesling (below). Personally I prefer these late harvest style wines to Ice Wine. Sadly too many people have jumped on the Ice Wine wagon and subsequently, quality can vary. The Cave Spring version has always been my favourite late harvest wine made here." Alan Kerr
1999 Cave Spring Cellars Riesling Dry, $11.25 Can.: Medium straw; lots of tart apple, with just a hint of sweetness and a little petrol. Made from the Mosel Clone grown on the Beamsville Bench, and reportedly the best selling Riesling in Canada. A nice quaff.
1999 Cave Spring Cellars Riesling Off Dry Demi-Sec, $11.25 Can.: Pale straw; more sweet apple than the Dry, no petrol, faint hint of bees’ wax and a hint of detergent on the finish.
1999 Cave Spring Cellars CVS Estate Riesling, $25 Can.: Pale-medium straw; typical notes of apple shaded with "black pepper" (Stacy) and a note of anise on the nose; teeth cleaning acidity (Alan). Made from 20-year-old vines, a combination of Weiss and Alsatian clones.
1999 Cave Spring Cellars Riesling Reserve, $14.95 Can.: Pale-medium straw; green apple/mineral, with more prominent acidity. Good aging potential; "vintages from the late ‘80s are still all there," according to Charles.
1999 Cave Spring Cellars Auxerrois, $10.95 Can.: Pale straw; straightforward vin blanc, with apple/pear flavors and aromas.
1999 Cave Spring Cellars Chardonnay Beamsville Bench, $12.95 Can.: Medium straw; lots of apple and "flint" (Ruth); "steeliest, grassiest in years; oyster Chardonnay: (Charles).
1998 Cave Spring Cellars Chardonnay Estate, $14.95 Can.: Medium straw; nice note of oak over pear and "Dole canned pineapple" according to Kerr. Richer, fuller than the Bench bottling; 50/50 barrel/stainless fermentation.
1998 Cave Spring Cellars Chardonnay Reserve, $19.95 Can.: Medium straw; more obvious oak over plush fruit; toasty pear, nice butterscotch; 100% barrel fermentation.
1998 Cave Spring Cellars CVS Chardonnay, $35 Can.: Medium straw; pear, hints of butter and nice vanilla, "crème brulee" (Ruth); oak isn’t at all overpowering.
1999 Cave Spring Cellars Dry Rose, $10.95 Can.: Salmon pink; bled from Gamay; a little mustiness blows off from an otherwise stingy nose; dry strawberry flavors and aromas.
1999 Cave Spring Cellars Gamay, $11.95 Can.: Ruby garnet; peppery strawberry, hint of oak; "I like the simplicity of this." – Alan "Gamay is grown in Niagara because it makes perfect sense." - Charles
1998 Cave Spring Cellars Gamay Reserve, 17.95 Can.: Ruby garnet; plum/black cherry. "A lot more muscular and gutsy." - Alan
1999 Cave Spring Cellars Cabernet, 60% Cabernet Franc, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, $15.95 Can.: Dark garnet; nice note of oak over red currant/plum/black cherry. "Nice toffee chewiness." - Alan "Designed to be drinkable in its youth." - Charles
1998 Cave Spring Cellars Cabernet, 68% Cabernet Franc, 24% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, $17.95 Can.: Dark garnet; big spicy toasty oak over red fruit nose that darkens on the palate; rich and pleasant.
1998 Cave Spring Cellars Merlot, $35 Can.: Dark garnet; coffee and toast, cassis and plum, chocolate-y, dusty tannins; the best of the reds.
1999 Cave Spring Cellars Indian Summer Riesling, 375 ml., $21.95 Can.: Pale gold; effusive apricot/honey flavors and aromas; intense, concentrated and delicious. Much nicer than the ’95 that Alan brought along for our very first meeting.
George Heritier, May 2001