Prohibiting something rarely, if ever, accomplishes the original goal. Whether it involves anti-drug campaigns, teenage abstinence programs or international trade embargoes, relying on fear, shaming and isolation tactics rarely produce the hoped for results.
This extends to alcohol; the antiquated, hangover effects of prohibition continue to play an enormous role in today’s Canadian alcohol distribution laws. While technically it’s true that since changes made in 2012 and 2014 there are no laws forbidding Canadians from importing wine from other provinces, several provinces have laws that fly in the face of that and go against the flow of free trade.
Because of this, it’s easier for me to acquire bottles from Israel, Croatia and South Africa than it is to find product from Ontario’s Prince Edward County or the Niagara Peninsula here at home in BC.
So, because what I know about Ontario wines is limited to what I’ve read, I was preparing for a trip and came across a highly complimentary reference to Malivoire in an American article. I had to go to three different stores in Ontario, but eventually I found a bottle.
Located in Beamsville – just west of St. Catharines and in between Lakes Ontario and Erie – this is a medium size enterprise producing about 24,000 cases per year and focusing on sustainable growing and lots of different types of grapes – including Gamay.
This wine is pretty with a medium ruby shade and light legs; it looks like pomegranate juice. On the nose it’s young and full of ripe red fruit – pomegranate, field berry, strawberry and raspberry – with sweet clove and cedar frond.
The palate is dry but offers an off dry feel with medium minus soft tannins which would make this simply great for turkey, salmon and tuna steaks. The acidity is medium and the alcohol delightfully mild at only 12.5%. The promise of the nose is continued here with lots of ripe fieldberry and sweet cranberry, some bramble, and lots of cinammon spice, vanilla and nutmeg with a little herbaceous forest undergrowth to boot.
With a solid medium plus finish, this is a WSET Very Good Canadian version of youthful Gamay. If you live in Ontario, purchase and drink now or within the next 2-3 years. If you live elsewhere, good luck!
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