#WineWednesday: King of Canadian Red, Cabernet Franc

By / Wine + Drinks / July 17th, 2013 / 2

We’ve all heard that Cab is King, but here in Canada we bow to the father (Franc) and not the son (Sauvignon). The reason: consistency. “Cab Franc in Ontario ripens usually a couple of weeks earlier than Cab Sauv giving winemakers and growers a little more time to get the grapes to the maturity levels that are needed. Given this we will have more consistency in wines produced from vintage to vintage,” says Derek Barnett of Lailey Vineyard.

Another reason is competition according to Vineland’s Brian Schmidt there is no comparing from one region to another, “it’s an open and clean slate as to the style, no one compares you to what Chile or California are making”. With that in mind we look at the many face of Franc.

Stratus 2009 Cabernet Franc ($38.00)

Smoky tobacco, spice and raspberry are all the ingredients you’ll find in here, both on the nose and palate … sounds simple but it’s simplicity that makes it delicious.

Hinterbrook 2010 Cabernet Franc Reserve ($40.00)

Red fruit dominated on both nose and palate: raspberry, strawberry and red currant with some red licorice. Palate doles out black raspberry and tobacco and tosses in strawberry, red currant and a nice spiciness; look for the strawberry rolled in cocoa finish.

Vineland Estates 2011 Cabernet Franc ($12.95)

Nice raspberry-tobacco note greets the nose, while the tobacco and raspberry continue on the mouth with touches of cranberry cocktail, cherry and vanilla. You’ll also notice a nice balance of acidity.

Lailey 2010 Cabernet Franc ($25.00)

A spiced black fruit nose and a palate that doles out cedary-pepper, cigarbox and tobacco-spice. Needs a little time for the fruit to emerge.

For more wine suggestions, see our other #WineWednesday posts.

Michael is an award-winning journalist: Promoting the Promoters Award Cuvée 2010 and Ontario Wine Awards Journalist of the Year 2012.  He is also a national and international wine judge - Ontario Wine Awards, All Canadian Wine Championships; Best of Riesling — Germany; Essencia do Vinho — "Top Wines of Portugal".  He is currently the President of the Wine Writers Circle of Canada and the wine columnist for Ottawa Life and Grand magazine as well as regular contributor to Tidings, and Grapevine ... his reviews have also appeared in the LCBO Vintages magazine. Michael has also added a YouTube channel to his activities where he reviews bottles of great Ontario wine on a weekly basis. In whatever he does, it is Michael’s desire to educate, inspire and encourage others to grow their own love and enthusiasm for wine – and to realize that it is their palate that ultimately makes the decision.

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