We Found the Hidden Bench Winery

And we also found some great wines!

Now that I have been there, I realized I had driven by Hidden Bench Winery on more than 3 occasions. I guess I was distracted with wherever I was going at the time, but I’m glad we finally found our way to Hidden Bench.

Like some other Niagara wineries, nothing is out of place at Hidden Bench and indeed it almost looks too perfectly kept. I’ve learned that this is a good thing though, because those exacting standards usually are ported over to the winemaking process. I am happy to report that the wines here proved my “theory” right once again.

Immaculate grounds = impeccable wines! (photo credit Andrew Weber)

Despite drought-like conditions, everything is well maintained…(photo credit Andrew Weber)

Inside the tasting room is again very neat and orderly. After marvelling at the interior for more than a few minutes we made out way to the tasting bar.

Beautiful exterior leads to beautiful interior! (photo credit Andrew Weber)

One thing that I did notice is that the tastings here are somewhat pricey compared to the neighbours in the region. For those of us on a serious wine hunt, it doesn’t really matter but we did see two groups come in, look at the wine list and tasting fees, and then leave without tasting anything. Maybe they were just looking for freebies but it does beg the question of whether they were potential customers who found the fees too steep at 3 for $10.

Here then is what we tasted:

2008 Roman’s Block Riesling: With great petrol (and pool vinyl) on the nose, this is showing its age quite nicely. The palate is dominated by citrus and mineral notes. Quite dry with a phenomenal acidic core and nominal residual sugar (12g/L), the mouthfeel is fresh and crisp and ends with a great lemon peel finish. $30

2010 Felseck Vineyard Chardonnay: On the nose, I’m reminded of some sparkling Chardonnays – brioche, butter, and sweet, ripe apples. The palate is luscious smooth apple, citrus, and sweet spice with a hint of smoke and complimentary butterscotch notes. A long creamy butterscotch finish shows finesse on the oak integration. Not quite as complex as it’s big brother Tête de Cuvée ($45), but well worth the $38.

2010 Felseck Vineyard Gewürztraminer: Deciding to stick with the white theme for this visit, we decided to try the Gewürztraminer for our third wine. Dominant white flowers overpower the lighter tropical lychee notes on the nose, and the alcohol reminds you it’s there. Slightly sweet mid-palate, the tropical fruit (lychee, mango and pineapple) is lightly laced with vanilla notes and finished very smooth. Maybe a little too smooth. I had a hard time figuring out if this bottle was fresh or not as is almost seemed a little lackluster as if it had been open too long. Need to try again. $32

Hidden Bench
4152 Locust Lane, Beamsville

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