Last year in April, on a cold windy day I took my sister and mother wine tasting in NOTL. That day we discovered Five Rows in St. Davids. A lovely small production winery. Fast forward one year later, we made another trek to Five Rows. This time my wife came with us and it was just as cold!
I have come to really respect what Wes Lowrey and Five Rows is doing. When they started the winery back in 2001 they were focused on small production. Today their production may be a bit larger, but they are aware of not getting too big. As they feel that it will effect the quality of their wines.
This trip to Five Rows was my first time to try their whites. Small production also means selling out quickly, so I was happy to see what the whites were like. Five Rows produces three white varietals, Sauvignon Blan, Pinot Gris, and Riesling. We also tried their three reds as well Pinot Noir,
but more Syrah like in character), and Cabernet Sauvignon. Shiraz
Here is the low down and tasting notes.
- It was light straw in colour. This was by far the most aromatic white of the tasting. Aromas of peach, citrus, and an interesting flinty note. The citrus and stone fruit continued on the palate. Really nice acidity (something that I found in all of the whites). A great palate cleanser! Reminded me of a Sancerre or Touraine Sauv Blanc. 88 points
Five Rows Pinot Gris 2012
- Light straw in colour. Had to really get my nose in the glass to get at the aromatics. Pear, apples, and almond came through. Apple and melon strike the palate. Good acidity with good length. A clear favourite with the ladies. 87 points
Five Rows Riesling 2012
- Pale straw. Strong aromas of citrus peal (lemon & lime) and floral notes. The citrus wave continues on the palate with crisp acidity that makes you want to come back for more. The Riesling haters in the group enjoyed this wine! Riesling is certainly a strength in
Niagara! 88 points
Five Rows Pinot Noir 2010
- Pale ruby in colour. Aromas of fresh red fruit, cranberry, and coffee. This was quite a young wine and was tight on the palate. Red fruit and cedar on the palate. Good acidity with strong tannin's One of the better 2010 Niagara Pinot's that I have tasted. I tend to favour the 2009 style of Niagara Pinot over the recent 2010 releases. It will be interesting to taste this wine in a few years and see how it integrates. 90 points
Five Rows Shiraz 2010
- Deep ruby in colour. Dark fruity, pepper spice, and game notes dominate the palate. Very elegant and great balance to this wine. A well structured wine that will develop into an interesting red in the future. I am really liking the N.Rhone Syrah play that is starting to take place in
Five Rows Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
- Deep ruby in colour. Dark fruit, hint of green pepper and all spice. A constant theme of the reds was "tight". All wines could benefit from decanting or cellaring for a year or two. Strong & fresh acidity on this Cabernet. Good acidity is a great indicator of a cellar worthy wine. 89 points
Yet another great tasting at Five Rows. I tried to find out if they will ever expand and make a Cab Franc, all I got was that they have thought of making one. I'll look forward to that!
Keep up the good work Wes and Lowrey family.