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Ontario Reviews

Rosewood Estates 2008 Barrel 59 Cabernet Franc
Ontario wine consumers in the know love Cabernet Franc, while it’s an unsung grape in much of the rest of the world, used primarily for blending; but here in Ontario we make plenty of Franc in the single varietal form. Winemaker Natalie Spytkowski has taken Franc to a whole new level with this single barrel offering from the Renaceau Vineyard (Rosewood’s own). This was a barrel Natalie pegged from day 90 in its evolution, that’s when, it is reported, “she drew a smiley face on the head of the barrel” – obviously she saw something special developing and wanted to keep track of it. Now, some 18 months later (12 in barrel – all brand new French - and 6 in bottle) we have the results, and let me say that her patience and foresight has been rewarded. I’m not one to give you a list of smells and flavours, but as I lingered over this wine, for about 10 minutes, here are just a few that I picked up: smoky, spicy, vanilla, tobacco, dark fruit nuances, more spice, more vanilla, black cherry, cherry-tobacco, lovely mouthfeel along with white pepper and dark cocoa on the finish. Whew, I know that had I lingered a little longer more would have been forthcoming because this was a new bottle and this wine is just a baby, it needs time to open and breathe to get it’s full effect … Finally, I shouldn’t forget to mention the smoked black cherry that lingers on the palate after swallowing. A grand total of only 50-60 cases were produced (the number depends on how much Natalie and the staff take home. Hopefully they’ll be some around come the release I was quoted (January 2011) – If I were you I’d see if I could get my hands on a few bottles early because this is a wine worth snapping up. Price: $30.00 – Rating: ****½
Cabernet Franc
Niagara Peninsula
at the winery

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