Inniskillin Vidal Icewine 2007, VQA Niagara Peninsula

A beautiful, shimmering golden color is an accurate lead-in to this perennial standout’s nose: A whole world of white-fleshed fruit, especially peak-season white peach with orange-blossom honey. There’s something ambrosial about the nose here, yet it never gets bogged down in its own richness: This, it seems to me, is one of the keys to a successful sweet wine--its ability to maintain a balance between density and freshness, even on the nose. As for the palate, that balance of acid to rich fruit and honey is impeccably calibrated: This is an unabashedly sweet wine, and it coats the palate like warm honey does, but at the same time the notes of juicy white peach, nectarine, apricot, and preserved lemon help maintain a sense of complexity and brightness beyond the sweetness. Remarkable on its own, and astounding with the right cheeses, like the selection of blue, goat, and cow’s milk beauties from Murray’s that I tasted alongside this.