Monday, November 2, 2015

Monthly Picks: November'15 - BC Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc is a red grape that, along with Syrah, may prove to be known as BC's signature grapes in the near future. Producers are discovering that when properly ripened, the Cabernet Franc grape can produce charming and unique wines on its own without the need of blending (or much blending).Here are a few of our favourites from the past two vintages.

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2013 Cabernet Franc - $22
Opens with a meaty, dusty, nose of boysenberry, anise, wild sagebrush, dried bay leaf, pipe tobacco and pine sap aromas. The palate is dry and rather intense with similar flavours and a mouth-watering blend of bright, blue fruit and savoury, earthy notes.
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Fort Berens Estate Winery 2013 Cabernet Franc - $25
A consistent flavour and aroma profile, year-to-year, yields a masculine Cabernet Franc with a nice blend of blue fruit purée and savoury herbs characters on the expressive nose and the uber-dry and mineral'n'oak-infused palate.Wild berry acidity and firm tannins frame the long finish where tongue-tingling bitter-spice and toasted oak notes linger.
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River Stone Estate Winery 2013 Cabernet Franc -$26
Shows depth on the nose with blackberry, wild flower'n'herbs, plum, soft spices, boysenberry and light cedar aromas. The dry, well-structured palate expresses similar flavours with added coffee grind and earthy notes and fine, ripe tannins. The finish is long and balanced with lingering wild berry notes.
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Fairview Cellars 2013 Premier Series Cabernet Franc - $30
A stunning Cabernet Franc from an excellent vintage offering a memorable, feminine nose of ripe, wild berry, vanilla, mint, pot-pourri, dry herb and wild flower aromas. The dry, full-bodied palate that follows is youthful with burgeoning complexity from mixed berry, toasted oak, licorice, dark chocolate, vanilla, mint, spice and light forest flavours that are lovingly supported by mouth-watering acidity and fine, medium tannins through to a long finish with lingering cassis and herb notes.
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Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2012 Oldfield Series Cabernet Franc - $30.50
Happily offers the same wild berry, sagebrush and pipe tobacco medley of aromas and flavours of the uber-popular 'regular' label (2012) just with a more polished structure of ripe, smoky tannins and a richer, fuller palate with fleshy plum and smooth cocoa notes thanks to additional ageing on lees in oak barrels (18 months) and a full year in the bottle prior to release.
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Burrowing Owl Estate Winery 2012 Cabernet Franc - $33
Sourced from the estate vineyard along the Black Sage Bench, on offer are classic notes of wild berries, dried herbs, licorice, vanilla-spice, toasted oak, pipe tobacco, menthol and the ethereal 'Franc funk' on both the intense, dense nose and the bright, lightly tannic palate. Length is good, not great, but you will love the unique combination of the fruit and savoury characters that only good Cabernet Franc can deliver.
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Cassini Cellars 2012 Cabernet Franc - $TBA
Sourced from a single vineyard and treated to 24 months in French oak prior to bottling, this is a full-bodied, expressive wine from the warm 2012 Southern Okanagan vintage which produced ripe tannins and intense plum and blackberry fruit aromas and flavours supported by layers of complementary sweet pipe smoke, spicy oak, crushed violet and subtle spearmint notes.
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 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2015

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