Brett happens

All wine, most of the time

What goes around comes around

with 4 comments

Last year I shared one of expat MWG member Weingolb’s posts (maybe this one) with another MWG member who’d just moved to Toronto. That MWGer liked the featured wine enough that he presented me with a bottle on his most recent visit to Montreal.

Cabernet Franc 2009, Estate, Prince Edward County VQA, Grange of Prince Edward ($17.95 at the winery; available at the LCBO a while back for a jaw-dropping $11.75)
The Estate line is the winery’s entry level range. 100% Cabernet Franc from six-year-old vines grown in the Northfield vineyard. Fermented in stainless steel tanks. Matured 30 months in “seasoned” French oak barrels. (Does seasoned mean they’re used barrels or new barrels made from aged wood? I suspect the latter.) Bottled in August 2012. 13.5% ABV. Quebec agent: Bambara Selection.
Engaging nose of candied strawberry, slate and forest floor. Medium-bodied and quite dry. The first sip brings a surprise: a salty tang along with the ripe cranberry-cherry fruit and mocha overlay. The acidity is bright and fluent while the supple tannins add a light rasp to the bitter chocolatey finish. Very drinkable if oakier than I like (the wood hides the minerals, ferchrissake). Dial back the oak, give the vines a few more years to mature and you could be looking at one of those juicy, sappy, minerally, irresistibly drinkable Cab Francs that the Loire has always held a monopoly on. Somebody send these people a case of David’s Hurluberlu or Breton’s Trinch stat! (Buy again? At $17.95, maybe. At $11.75, for sure.)

Oak aside, this is yet another wine that has me thinking Cabernet Franc is the red Ontario does best.

Written by carswell

February 19, 2015 at 13:04

4 Responses

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  1. It is oaky yet I forgive it that more than the myriad other over-oaked Ontario cab franc. Dunno why. Being reared on it might have done something. :0 I guess the 3 years of oak seasoning (not 30 years, right?—please stick with the Breton suggestions here) explains why the 2009 was late to arrive on shelves. Thanks for the info and linkage, WEINGOLB


    February 19, 2015 at 13:30

    • Oops. 30 months. Correction made. Thanks.

      The oak is moderate by Ontario standards (far less than in some of Tawse’s bottlings, for example) and is certainly not off-putting but it’s also superfluous and distracting, which is a shame since the base wine is so appealing. I appreciate that lots of people like the choco-vanilla but that doesn’t make me stop wishing GOPE would at least offer a version of the wine without the makeup. Not only would it be fresher, more terroir-expressive and even more drinkable, it’d also be cheaper (no expensive barrels, shorter maturation time).

      Anyhoo, gratitude for being the indirect cause of my getting a bottle. I wonder what it goes for in Quebec…


      February 19, 2015 at 13:55

  2. I will be sure to supply Maggie and Caroline (daughter-and-mother GOPE winemakers) with a bottle of Trinch… hopefully they are receptive!
    Glad you found this bottle interesting. See you in MTL soon. Kev


    February 21, 2015 at 09:36

    • Hey, Kev! Thanks again for the bottle, which I quite enjoyed. I’d pitch in on a bottle of Trinch for the winery but will hold on to my last Hurluberlu… at least until your next visit (provided it’s soon — the wine’s not a keeper). It’s a wine right up your alley.


      February 23, 2015 at 11:51

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