2012 Andrew Peller “Signature Series” Cabernet Franc, Four Mile Creek VQA, Ontario, Canada (Alc. 14%) $45.20 from winery While it usually takes some time to convince certain people that Ontario Cabernet Franc has the potential for making great wines, it’s pretty hard to deny the quality of this 2012 “Signature Series” release from Andrew Peller. Whilst dropping $45 on an Ontario wine may not be all of our readers idea of a fiscal good time, this particular bottle is well worth the money, and may be just the thing to convince the naysayers, with enough concentrated oomph to sway even a one-track-mind wine snob… in fact this would make for the perfect bottle to serve blind to such folks. Made entirely with estate fruit from the Carlton and Clark Farm vineyards, the wine saw substantial skin contact, giving us a many layered wine with incredible concentration and richness. The warm and dry 2012 vintage was extremely kind to Cabernet Franc, removing all traces of that dreaded greenness that so many equate with lesser Ontario wines. A year and a half of French/American oak, with over half being new, may seem excessive, but the deep, dark core of black fruit can certainly handle it, and in combination with the wine’s assertive tannic structure and alcohol, promises considerable longevity in the cellar. Aromatically one will find a intriguingly complex combination of black berry fruits (with just a whiff of ripe raspberry), woodsmoke, dried tobacco, sandalwood, vanilla pod, and nuances of exotic spices. Despite a strikingly sweet, ripe attack the weighty palate is firm, grippy and dry, with a seemingly endless spicy black fruit finish. While this could benefit from a few years sleeping on its side, it is drinking surprisingly well right now, just be sure to put it through a decent decant and drink slowly over a couple of hours to see how it develops on the table. I’d pair this up with more flavoursome lamb AKA mutton, slow roasted. Ah, my mouth is watering just thinking about that divine combination. Okay… time for lunch… (Five apples out of a possible five)… Outstanding.
Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And this is a killer bottle.