2016 Cabernet Franc
St. David’s Bench Vineyard | VQA — St David’s Bench
Cabernet Franc is one of Niagara’s signature grape varieties and this is an excellent example of how it can be made into a complex wine with aging potential. The grapes are hand picked and then undergo temperature-controlled fermentation so the wine does not come across as “over extracted”. It’s then aged for one year in 1-2 year old French oak barrels to add an extra layer of flavour but not mask the essence of the wine. It’s ruby coloured, with flavours of raspberry and pipe tobacco. Although this wine is ready to drink, it will continue to develop in the bottle for at least 5-10 years.
Vineyard Manager's Notes
We are fortunate to be able to work with the St. David’s Bench Vineyard. It is an incredible site. Because it is so far from the lake and nestled against the Escarpment, we are able to achieve full maturity and ripeness in our reds. We do a lot of hand-work in the rows to help the vines concentrate their flavours. This site also features underground springs that carry limestone off the Escarpment. The vine roots access this water and we believe it is what gives wines grown here their signature minerality.
Bosc Family Food Pairings
Try Cab Franc the next time you’re thinking about Cab Sauvignon. You will be pleasantly surprised! This wine is full-bodied enough to pair with any red meat; BBQ, braised or roasted.
||Brix at Harvest
"It has been years since I tasted the St. David's Bench Cab Franc from Château des Charmes, and they have a continual winner of wine that could have been diverted to Equuleus. It has some over-the-top full-bodied black spicy fruit while still retaining some cranberries and bell peppers, slightly augmented with some pine/cedar tones. Aged for a year in 1 – 2 year-old French oak with some toast. Not made every year, and this is the ONLY Cab Franc Chât des Charmes produces. Sip as a meditative drink or with red meat/cheese. Cork closure, keep it around for a while. I opened my bottle and did a double-decant followed by several days of open bottle sampling." 91 points -- Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures, June 2019
"A full-bodied, dry and youthful cabernet franc offering notes of graphite, new leather, iodine and black fruit. The tannins are still new and somewhat tacky but the fruit is concentrated and fully (but not overly) ripened. Still some tension and avoids and jammy flavours although there is some warmth on the finish. Very good concentration for the price." 89 points -- Sara d'Amato, WineAlign, June 2019
"A conspiratorial perfect storm has gathered to lift cabernet franc from St. David's Bench out of the 2016 vintage for to fall into a right place. The warmth from location and vintage is more than evident as noted by florals, full fruit compliment and a body to match. This cabernet franc has achieved dual ripeness citizenship, carrying both sugar and phenolic passports. It is free to travel anywhere, across borders, make smiles of sour unbelievers and please as it should. It's a big one to be sure but also balanced, if a bit chalky at present, which will soon liquify, liquidate and blend into the scenery. Drink 2020-2024." 91 points -- Michael Godel, WineAlign, July 2019