Friday, August 20, 2010

Best of Niagara: Cabernet

The Niagara Peninsula is slowly developing an international reputation as one of the world's premier locations to grow Cabernet Franc, even getting a mention in a recent edition of Britain's Decanter Magazine. An August 2010 trip to the region confirmed for us that the hype is for real. below is a list of our favourite Cabernet Franc from the region along with a few top notch Cabernet Sauvignon wines for good measure. Arranged by price point.

$20 and below:

Chateau Des Charmes 2007 Cabernet Franc - $14
This Cab Franc offers medium-intense aromas of dark berries, wet stone, forest floor with subtle pungent cheese notes. The aromas continue on to the medium-plus bodied palate, adding a touch of cooking spice to the flavours. Where to buy: LCBO stores, BCLDB stores and direct from winery.
Full Review

Angels Gate Winery 2006 Cabernet Franc - $17
A blend from three vineyards: Marcus, Crispino and St. John. 12 month in French oak. Well balanced with an excellent track record of quality. Fruit forward with lower tannins. Excellent value. Where to buy: Direct from winery and online.

$30 and below:

Coyote's Run Estate Winery 2008 Black Paw Vineyard Cabernet Franc - $22
Possibly, the best value for quality on the Peninsula in regards to Cabernet Franc. The Coyote's Run Cabernet Franc offers impressive concentration of aromas and flavours for the tough 2008 vintage. Intense aromas of red fruit, baking spice and black tea with earthy and green vegetal notes on the nose. The dry palate has integrated tannins with good acidity and concentrated flavours of plum, blueberry and anise. Where to buy: Select LCBO stores and direct from winery or online.
Full Review

Tawse Winery 2008 Laundry Vineyard Cabernet Franc - $30
An excellent wine that combines all of the qualities a Niagara Cabernet Franc can posses: complexity, elegance, intensity and funkiness. Coffee grounds, caramel, plum aromas with flavours of juicy blueberry, minerality and round tannins. Sophisticated. Where to buy: Direct from winery or online.
Full Review

$40 and below:

Marynissen Estates 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Lot 31 - $36
Good concentration of fruit on the nose and palate. The 2007 vintage was strong for Cabernet Sauvignon with good phenolic ripeness. Where to buy: Direct from winery.

Stratus Vineyards 2007 Cabernet Franc - $38
Aromas of smoke, caramel, oak, vanilla, dark fruits and cured meet. Flavours of blueberry, oak and leather with elegant, super smooth tannins. Built to last. Where to buy: Direct from winery or online.
Full Review

Thirty Bench Estate Winery 2007 Cabernet Franc - $40
Happily, this Thirty Bench offering takes a different road to many of the other top Cabernet Franc of Niagara. Ultimately, the destination is the same but when they zig, the Thirty Bench zags. More elegant and subtle in approach with layers of complexity waiting to be discovered. Needs time. Where to buy: Direct from winery or online.
Full Review - Coming soon

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