Stratus Vineyards Cabernet Franc Niagara-On-The-Lake VQA 2013

Estate: Located in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada, Stratus Vineyards was the world’s first fully LEED-certified winery in the world in 2005. The 62 acres of vineyards “are divided into 44 distinct blocs. Each one, its own small ‘somewhereness’.” The soil consists of layers of mineral-rich earth, resting on a limestone foundation, resulting in a “clay-loam mosaic” of individual soil types. The sustainable estate grows 10 varieties of red grapes and 6 varieties of white. In 2009 Stratus enlisted famed winemaker/viticulturist Paul Hobbs “to bring additional international perspective to its operations”.

Philosophy: “The wine we grow is dependent on the health of the land on which it is grown. We farm our vineyard and guide our winemaking as though our children’s future depends on it. Each vintage bottled is a reflection of this ongoing commitment.”

Winemaking: Aged for 552 days in French oak, 23% new.

Tasting Notes: Dark garnet in colour with expressive aromas of cherry, red grapes, baking spice, graphite minerals and a hint of caramel. Cherry, blackberry and black cherry meld with minerals and an herbaceous streak. Silky tannins pair up with soft toasted oak and vanilla on the plush finish. Fantastic on its own or with a wide variety of dishes.

100% Cabernet Franc
Niagara-On-The-Lake VQA
Canada
Estate Bottled by Stratus Vineyards
13.5% Alcohol
$38 [Canadian Dollars]
Enjoy now thru 2020

Chais Saint-Laurent ‘La Vigne en Véron’ Chinon 2015

Consistently a fantastic value.

Producer: Founded in 1921 by Paulin Lebrun, Foucher-Lebrun is a “Petit Negociant” specializing in wines from the Loire Valley. Chais Saint-Laurent is their second label. In 2009 fine and rare wine broker Jean Mounard joined the company managing “the selection process for the wines of the company”. His large network of wine growers and winemakers has increased the quality, along with being able to offer wines that “display a real sense of their underlying appellations and are made with a balance and delineation usually found in much more expensive wines”.

Philosophy: “To convey the expression of the appellations in the Loire region by careful selection, vinification and aging of its wines”.

Winemaking: The grapes were sourced from select vineyards with Argilo-Calcaire and gravel soils in the villages of Riviere, Beaumont-en-Veron and Savigny-en-Veron. The average vine age is 45-50 years. Aging of the majority of the cuvee is in used barriques, 1-3 years old, whilst the remainder is aged in tanks.

Tasting Notes: Red-violet in colour with aromas of ripe berries and garrique. Jammy cherry and berry flavours are complimented by smoky, grilled herbs [juniper, thyme, rosemary] and soft pepper spice. Good acidity and moderate tannins, a hint of chocolate frames the dry, fruity finish.

100% Cabernet Franc
Chinon
France
Produced and Bottled by Chais Saint-Laurent
13% Alcohol
$9
Enjoy now thru 2019

Domaine des Terres Blanches Ancestral Rouge 2014

terrespetnat

Naturally sparkling Cabernet Franc; fruity & fizzy, delightfully different.

Estate: Located in the historic village of Oiron in the Loire region of southern France, Domaine des Terres is headed by Benoit and Celine Blet. The couple had met an older gentleman who was considering the sale of his vineyards, and after living with him on his property for 6 months; he considered them to be the right caretakers of his vineyards.

Winemaking: “Benoit is a passionate believer in minimalist natural wine making.” Vineyards are farmed biodynamically, only native yeasts are used, and the only additive ever used is minimal amounts of sulphur. Crafted using the pét-nat [pétillant naturel] or Ancestral Méthod.

Tasting Notes: Garnet in colour with pink frothy bubbles, aromas of cranberry, cherry and chocolate. Fruit driven with cherry, blackberry and a hint of red apple buoyed by compact, small bubbles. Rich chocolate and a hint of funk comprise the dry, fizzy finish.

Pairing Suggestions from the Winemaker: As an aperitif, or with a chocolate dessert (Black Forest). To be enjoyed young between 6 and 8 ° C [43-47 ° F].

100% Cabernet Franc
France
12.5% Alcohol
$17
Enjoy now

Château des Charmes Cabernet Franc Niagara on the Lake VQA 2013

chatcharmescf

Estate: Paul Bosc, a fifth generation French winegrower who holds degrees in Viticulture and Oenology from the University of Burgundy in Dijon, France, founded Château des Charmes in 1978. Paul brought his young family to the Niagara on the Lake region of Canada in the 1960’s “with the idea that growing our own grapes was the best way to make fine wine”. The estate consists of 280 acres of vineyards in four locations all within the Niagara-on-the-Lake region. Paul established himself as a pioneer in the region, from planting traditional French varietals to employing cutting edge techniques such as installing wind machines to protect the vines from the cold.In addition to being recognized for their progressive, groundbreaking work with traditional French grapes and methods, their wines have garnered accolades for their balance, finesse and quality.  Paul Sr still has an active role in the vineyards, his son Paul Jr is President of the estate, and Paul Jr’s wife Michèle is the Director of Marketing.

Philosophy: “We are custodians of the land.” Crafting wines that are “food friendly and age worthy. We hope you will call them delicious”.

Winemaking: Committed from the very beginning to sustainable practices, the family is a charter member of Sustainable Winegrowing Ontario. Chemical treatments are never used, and sustainable methods such as hedge vine canopies, and under drainage are utilized. Naturally occurring yeasts are used for the majority of the wines. All by-products from the winemaking process [stems, skins, seeds] are returned to the vineyards as natural fertilizer. Their extensive cellars are geothermal and do not require any heating or cooling, especially impressive considering how cold Canadian winters can be.

Tasting Notes: Dark transparent garnet in colour with engaging aromas of cherry, roasted jalapeno and maple syrup. Black cherry and blackberry meet spicy pink peppercorn and a hint of licorice in the medium body, whilst maple syrup drizzled jalapeno and fruit comprise the dry finish. A tasty balance of fruit, spice and savoury elements make this fantastic on its own or with a wide variety of dishes.

100% Cabernet Franc
Niagara on the Lake VQA
Canada
Estate Bottled by Château des Charmes
13% Alcohol
$15 [Canadian Dollars]
Enjoy now thru 2018

Chais Saint-Laurent ‘La Vigne en Véron’ Chinon Rosé 2015

 

chinonrosect

A second label from famed Negociant Foucher-Lebrun, this is a fantastic value for summer sipping.

Producer: Founded in 1921 by Paulin Lebrun, Foucher-Lebrun is a “Petit Negociant” specializing in wines from the Loire Valley. Chais Saint-Laurent is their second label. In 2009 fine and rare wine broker Jean Mounard joined the company managing “the selection process for the wines of the company”. His large network of wine growers and winemakers has increased the quality, along with being able to offer wines that “display a real sense of their underlying appellations and are made with a balance and delineation usually found in much more expensive wines”.

Philosophy: “To convey the expression of the appellations in the Loire region by careful selection, vinification and aging of its wines”.

Winemaking: Grapes were sourced from multiple vineyards in the Touraine region of the Loire Valley.

Tasting Notes: Coral pink in colour with aromas of summery strawberry and minerals. Super fruity with refreshing tart strawberry and raspberry flavours. Zippy citrus zest and clean minerals comprise the dry finish. Easy drinking and simple, this is a fantastic patio sipper.

100% Cabernet Franc
Chinon
France
Produced and Bottled by Chais Saint-Laurent
12.5% Alcohol
$11 [average price]
Enjoy now thru 2017