This is our first ever Whole Cluster Cabernet Franc. Whole-cluster refers to the method of fermenting grapes with their stems still attached. This can only be done in exceptional years where the grapes received a lot of sunshine. 2020 was a generous and robust year, so we seized the opportunity to experiment and see if we could raise the bar. Taking this risk has paid off exceptionally well. The wine has tremendous purity of fruit and amazing tension.
Possibly one of the best vintages we’ve seen to date for Cabernet Franc. Wonderfully rich with soft tannins. An elegantly perfumed nose of classic cool-climate characteristics: deep red fruit, jalapeno, stony gravel, and a touch of meatiness. On the palate an exceptional balance of firm tannin and bright acid, rich berry notes and a long, lingering finish.
A very exciting vintage of Cabernet Franc. Made in the Loire style, sourced from three different sites at different elevations on the Niagara Bench. While the magnificent clay/limestone soils are a constant, the different elevations bring complexity. At each elevation, the grapes grow at different temperatures and ripening cycles, adding layers of flavour and complexity to the wine. Our approach to fermentation is similar to that of Pinot Noir; long, gentle ferments with minimal handling of the fruit. The fruit is basket pressed to avoid any greenness or bitterness. The wine aged for 18 months (two winters) in 228L French oak barrels. Wine was racked in March 2019 and left on its fine lees in horizontal steel tanks for another 4 months. Racked and bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Fruit was hand-picked and carefully destemmed into small one-ton fermenters. Fermentation by indigenous yeast and pressed in small batches in an old basket press. Aged in French oak barriques for 10 months. Bottled unfined and unfiltered with a very low sulphur addition right before bottling.