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Canada calling: The wines exciting the experts now

From refreshing sparkling to bold reds, explore outstanding wines from Canada that impressed the experts at Decanter World Wine Awards 2023.

Canada might be best recognised internationally as the leading global producer of Icewine, but there’s much more to elicit from this cool-climate wine-producing nation.

From elegant Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs to inviting expressions of Syrah and Cabernet Franc, plus bright and toasty traditional-method sparklers, Canada’s dry and sparkling wines are quickly becoming known globally for their quality.

‘Canada has small production of wine, but very exciting wine,’ explained Master Sommelier, Decanter World Wine Awards judge and Quebec native Elyse Lambert, noting the delicious Pinot Noirs tasted during DWWA 2023 judging week.

Scroll down to see 15 top-scoring Canadian wines from DWWA 2023

Excitement and quality abound, Canada saw its best Gold (95-96 points) performance to date at the 2023 competition – dry and sparkling wines carrying a mass of the nation’s 19 accolades in the category, with the provinces of Ontario, British Columbia and Nova Scotia represented.

‘These days, Canadian wines are getting a lot of attention,’ explained DWWA judge and Ontario native Andrea Pritzker MW. ‘There are some really excellent smaller regions, both in southern Ontario and of course British  Columbia, that are really producing some phenomenal quality wines, white and red.’

The question: where to buy them? Pritzker added: ‘Although the volume isn’t huge, which means they’re more difficult to find, the quality is very high. It’s very exciting.’

Worth seeking out – or great cause for a wine trip to Canada – below, discover the top-awarded dry and sparkling wines which impressed the experts of Decanter World Wine Awards most, with more to seek out at awards.decanter.com

Canada calling: The wines exciting the experts now

L’Acadie Vineyards, Prestige Brut, Gaspereau Valley, Nova Scotia 2017
Gold, 95 points
CA$56.35 (£32.70) lacadievineyards.ca
Pretty and attractive, with white fruit, honey melon, chalky green apple and lifted floral aromatics leading to a palate of vibrant acidity, citrus curd and a fine, saline finish. Alcohol 11%

Ravine Vineyard, Brut, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario 2011
Gold, 95 points
CA$134.80 ravinevineyard.com
Attractive and inviting, with a perfumed nose of lifted white flower, buttery brioche and toast. Fresh, lively palate of toasted marshmallow, rich fruit and a pretty, creamy mousse. Alc 12%

Trius, Rosé Brut, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario NV
Gold, 95 points
CA$29.95 triuswines.com
Inviting and perfumed with an attractive nose of spiced red fruit, brioche and toasty notes, while the palate is graced with lifted citrus notes and a beautiful, bright acidity. Alc 12%

Marynissen Estates, Sparkling Vidal Icewine, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario 2020
Gold, 95 points

CA$74.95 marynissen.com
Lush, honeyed and opulent with aromas of grilled pineapple, burnt sugar, plush apricot and lychee, then a luscious palate of mango, tropical fruit, lime and rich peach. Alc 9%

Closson Chase, South Clos Chardonnay, Prince Edward County, Ontario 2020
Gold, 95 points
CA$75 (2021) clossonchase.com
Hints of smoky gun flint on an inviting nose, while a textured palate is layered with lean, bright citrus, crisp grapefruit, just-ripe apricot and a chalky, wet stone minerality. Alc 13.3%

Flat Rock Cellars, The Rusty Shed Chardonnay, Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario 2020
Gold, 95 points
CA$35.15 flatrockcellars.com
Opulent nose, layers of toast, cashew nut, hints of struck match and lush vanilla oak. Textured palate of bright lemon, plush peach, supple oak spice and apple. Alc 13.5%

Peller Estates, Signature Series Sauvignon Blanc, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario 2020
Gold, 95 points
CA$36 peller.com
Fumé-style, inviting nose of toasty oak and baking spice, then a textured palate of citrus curd and herbaceous blackcurrant leaf, tropical notes and very well-judged oak. Alc 13.8%

CedarCreek, Aspect Block 4 Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia 2020
Gold, 96 points
CA$75 (2019) cedarcreek.bc.ca
Spicy, small berry and plush cherry aromatics invite you to a pretty palate of crunchy red cherry, lifted floral notes, bright acidity and a textured minerality. Alc 13%

Hidden Bench, Pinot Noir, Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario 2021
Gold, 95 points
CA$37.75 hiddenbench.com
Fragrant, bright raspberry, plush strawberry and pretty florals. Textured palate of flinty, stony mineral, light spice, violet, small red berry fruit, crunchy blackberry and subtle, fine-grained tannins. Alc 13%

Kacaba, Signature Series Reserve Cabernet Franc, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario 2020
Gold, 95 points
CA$60.15 kacaba.com
Opulent, plush and inviting, with aromas of lush dark cherry, cocoa, dark berry , liquorice and espresso, while the textured palate is graced with blackberry, spice and well-managed tannins. Alc 14.9%

Mission Hill, Terroir Collection Desert Ridge Meritage, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia 2020
Gold, 95 points
Big, bold and inviting, with aromatics of graphite, plush black fruit, leather and spice. Textured palate with smooth, concentrated, lush dark fruit framed with graceful tannins. Alc 14.2%

O’Rourke, Waiting for You Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia 2020
Gold, 95 points
Inviting and aromatic nose, with plush red cherry, a touch of vanilla oak, black fruit, spice. Layered with opulent, lush black fruit and a gorgeous floral mid-palate. Alc 13.3%

Road 13, John Oliver Syrah, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia 2020
Gold, 95 points
CA$80 road13vineyards.com
Inky and inviting, with heady aromas of plush blackberry and blueberry, then a textured palate layered with lush blue fruit, vibrant acidity, mocha and polished, glossy oak. Alc 13.9%

Thirty Bench, Benchmark Red, Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario 2020
Gold, 95 points
CA$86 (2019) thirtybench.com
Inviting, perfumed nose of spiced black fruit, roast pepper and graphite leading onto a rich palate of plush black fruit, supple oak and herbaceous leaf notes. Alc 13.5%

Thirty Bench, Small Lot Cabernet Franc, Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario 2020
Gold, 95 points
CA$76 (2019) thirtybench.com
Fragrant, with pretty redcurrant, mint, chocolate and blackberry aromatics. A herbaceous palate is graced with intense fruit, leafy notes and lovely textured tannins. Alc 13.9%

Search all DWWA 2023 results

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