Past Vintage Reviews

2002 Beamsville Bench Reserve Chardonnay
Toronto Life - August 2005
David Lawrason
2002 Beamsville Bench Reserve Chardonnay 1/2

Chardonnay minimalists will find this opulent one overstated; hedonists will love it. ... an oxidative, hot cashew and apple pie quality. This one is a sundae with finesse, fortitude and great length.

2004 Dry Riesling
Michael Pinkus -
The 2004 Dry Riesling, is truly a stellar bottle of wine, and I am told, they have plenty in stock so this is good news - but once word gets out it won’t be around for long. I must have tried this wine last year during my visit but it was going through bottle shock and it’s flavours were muted to me. A year later, this wine shows a nose of exotic fruit (pineapple and mango), minerality, melon and hints of apple - there is also the beginning of that classic Riesling aroma, petrol, which appears on both the nose and the taste. And speaking of taste, it is much drier than the nose projects with good acidity, apple and lemon zest flavours and a tart finish. This wine’s best years are still ahead and will lay down for 2-5 plus years with even better results along the way. Lie one down and you will be able to watch it develop complexity over time.

2004 Cabernet Franc
David Lawrason
Toronto Life Tawse 2004 Cabernet Franc 1/2

Mid-weight, juicy, charming, slightly soft cab franc with ripe raspberry-strawberry jam fruitiness. Not as green as many Ontario examples. Fine to enjoy now with a loose, hottish feel. May age out by 2010.

2004 ECHO's White
David Lawrason - Toronto Life
Tawse 2004 Echos Chardonnay ***1/2

New lower-priced label launching soon—largely for restaurant trade. Not the finesse and depth of more expensive chards but nicely balanced and integrated vanilla, apple-pineapple fruit and a herbal/fresh dill note that seems to be a house signature.

2005 Mabon Riesling
Mabon (pronounced May-bun) is the Druid word for Autumn Equinox, where day and night are equal. This dessert wine is made from 100% botrytis grapes hand-picked and sorted from our Carly’s Block Estate Riesling. Best paired with fragrant cheeses, roasted nuts or dried fruits, this ageworthy wine will provide enjoyment into the next decade.

2005 99/1 Pinot Noir
Evan Saviolidis Tawse 99/1 Pinot Noir - 90
Owner Moray Tawse is a big proponent of 100% home grown wines (VQA). He has always been vocal about the old school system (since 1966) of importing cheap wines from all over the globe and blending it with Canadian content. This practice, which has increased dramatically in recent years due to severe winter damage is a disturbing trend to many. His point is that Burgundy and Bordeaux do not import wines from elsewhere when there is a short crop, rather they live with it and move on. So, in the hopes of raising awareness while at the same time giving a little nudge to others, he imported nine barrels of very expensive Morey St Denis 1st Cru and blended it with his Pinot. Wall to wall dark fruit, spice, violets and licorice. For 2005 only, a special amendment to the rules of 70% import and 30% local was authorized. The one time ratio of 99 to I is where the wine derives its name.

2005 Pinot Noir
David Lawrason
Toronto Life Tawse 2005 Pinot  Noir 1/2

This pinot shows finesse, with gently woven, soft brown spices, woodsmoke, earthy minerality, cran-rhubarb pie fruit and a touch of peppermint. Still youthfully firm and tannic but not overbearing; should reveal real elegance around 2009. Excellent length. Available at the winery in May 07.

2006 Riesling Twenty Mile Bench
Evan Saviolidis
Tawse Riesling 2006, Twenty Mile Bench - 88
Not as dense as the Carly’s, but is still a pure expression of Riesling.
Mineral, flint, lime, grapefruit and a touch peachy. Lengthy, off dry and fresh acid.

2006 Riesling Carly’s Block
Evan Saviolidis
Tawse Carly’s Block Riesling 2006, Twenty Mile Bench - 90
Tawse has a new winemaking team in place. As a bonus, Montreal born Pascal Marchand, ex of Domaine de Ia Vougerie fame is the new wine consultant. Stylistically, the new wines are less over ripe (read elegant), but by no means are they lesser quality. This Riesling possesses a green/white gold colour and serves up flint, apple, lime, honey and pink grapefruit. There is also a perfect equilibrium between the residual sugar and acid. It is still young and will only get better with age. Now to 2015.

2006 Chardonnay Musqué
Evan Saviolidis
Tawse Chardonnay Musqué 2006, Twenty Mile Bench - 88
Pale colour with a peach, floral, spice and pear compote bouquet. Lots of minerals, peach and honey on the palate and a crisp finish.

2005 David's Block Merlot Cabernet Franc
Chris Waters – Vines Magazine1/2
Twenty Mile Bench Niagara Peninsula
Tawse unveils a new Bordeaux Blend (75% Merlot with 25% Cabernet Franc) this fall, which comes across like a muscular model of St.-Emillon. An unfiltered red that is the product of natural yeast fermentation and a long slumber in the finest French oak, it is full-bodied, ripe and juicy. This is a classy wine, with great potential.

2006 Select Late Harvest "Cabernets"
David Lawrason - Lawrason EReport - 90
Late harvest cabernet-based red wine is becoming popular in Ontario, often delivering exactly the same appealing strawberry, rhubarb, cherry jam aromas of cabernet icewine, but without the same weight and depth. And when they as nicely balanced as this little number, who needs the weight, or to spend the extra dollars. Very fine, delicate but not soft, with excellent focus and length. Icewine quality estate grapes handharvested On January 21, 2007 were blended with less sweet Niagara-on-the-Lake fruit.

2006 ECHO's Red
Winemaker’s Comments:
Colour is dark red with purple tints. Nose shows rich components of smoky wood and cigar box, with vibrant fruit overtones of raspberry and blackberry layered with subtle vanilla and spice nuances. The fine tannins round out the acidity to provide a medium finish.

2005 Robyn’s Block Estate Chardonnay
Christopher Waters
Unabashedly over-the-top, the new vintage of Tawse's Robyn's Block carries itself with a certain elephantine grace. Super concentrated and rich, this delivers huge apple pie, poached pear and vanilla cream aromas. The winemakers insist the wine has fermented to dryness; however, the palate conveys a sense of sweetness because of the enormous extract (from overripe fruit) and supercharged alcohol level. It's a love or hate style of wine. Fans of previous Tawse's Chardonnays will no doubt find this to be heavenly.

2006 Pinot Noir
John Szabo - 88

Clean, fresh, ripe red berry fruit, light but seductive wood spice (cinnamon) alongside some delicate floral notes – really quite a pleasant and attractive nose. Dry, light bodied, succulent, fine but firm tannins, vibrant acidity, modest alcohol and better than average concentration and length. Fine, silky style that is successful for the vintage. Drink now – 2011.

2006 Sketches of Niagara Chardonnay
Christopher Waters –

The Sketches of Niagara Chardonnay is produced with barrels that are declassified from Tawse’s premium single-vineyard Chardonnay portfolio (namely Robyn’s Block and Quarry Road Estate). One swirl and sniff leaves little doubt about the style or breeding of this well-made full-bodied wine, which, in many ways, comes across as a more relaxed and mellow wine than those big brother bottlings. There’s alluring richness to the aroma and a compelling creamy texture that is inviting and imminently likable. The finish is remarkably persistent — this is a lot of wine for $22.

2007 Carly's Block Estate Riesling
Zoltan Szabo -
Made from 31 years old vines. Less aromatic that the Sketches of Niagara, displaying apples, apple blossom and lots of mineral aroma nuances. It is also weightier with great intensity and depth of flavours. Think of tart red apples when tasting this wine. The finish is minerally and fresh with mouthwatering acidity. I love it!

2007 Tawse Chardonnay Musque
Evan Saviolidis - 89

Pale water colour with moderate aromas of peach, honey and white flowers. There is a touch of residual sugar with good freshness and very good length

2007 Lincoln Lakeshore Dry Riesling
Winemaker's Comments
Pale straw in colour with green tinges. The nose is of white peach and ripe pear. Palette is steely, and austere with a wet stone minearlity. Finish is lingering with sharp acidity.

2007 Sketches of Niagara Riesling
Beppi Crosariol – The Globe and Mail

Don’t miss Tawse Sketches of Niagara Riesling. This very good new bottling is crafted in the Mosel style of Germany, with moderate, off-dry sweetness, yet great balancing acidity. Light bodied and silky, its brimming with peach and citrus notes and a mouth puckering, Pixy Stix – like tang on the finish.

2007 Sketches of Niagara Unoaked Chardonnay
Christopher Waters –
Sketches of Niagara is new label from Vineland boutique winery, Tawse, which will include varieties grown on the biodynamically farmed estate vineyards. The portfolio will be available at the Cherry Road winery and potentially via the LCBO. The debut Chardonnay is produced primarily with fruit from the winery's own Quarry Road vineyard and from grower Ed Hughes. The Quarry Road site contributes a more austere; earthy/minerally component to this blend, while the brought-in fruit delivers an appealing tropical fruit element that makes for a best-of-both-worlds sort of blend. This is a good value, early-drinking style of Chardonnay, a welcome departure from the heavy, barrel-aged Chardonnays for which Tawse is famous.

2007 Wismer Vineyard Riesling, Niagara
Evan Saviolidis - 89
More restrained than the Carly’s Block, this terroir driven Riesling which is all about mineral and lime that combines with anise and bergamot. Dry with good depth on the palate and a crisp finish. Now to 2015. Oysters on the half shell anyone?

2006 Vintners Reserve Cabernet Franc
Zoltan Szabo -

Complex aromas of black cherry, blueberry, currants, plums, cinnamon stick, cigar and violets, floral. Medium to full bodied, opulent and fresh with integrated tannins and five spice finish. 4,000 bottles produced. One of the finest Cabernet Francs I have tasted in recent years from Ontario! As good if not better than Tawse's magnificent 2002 Cabernet Francs! 4 1/2 stars out of 5.