2015 Riserva Famiglia Cabernet Franc

The “Riserva Famiglia” title is only given to wines produced in the best vintage years which have passed a rigorous tasting panel. Made in the traditional appassimento style, vine dried for 4 weeks past traditional harvest dates and then rack dried in a single layer for 26 days. Dried in an ambient environment with forced air circulation to allow the fruit to slowly dry. Small batch fermented and aged in french oak for 2 years.

This wine has tertiary development and body, all without losing primary fruit. This vintage of Cabernet Franc is an atypical example of Niagara still red wine, created from typical vintage – classified Niagara fruit. Aromatics showcase notes of black cherry, blueberry compote, crushed black peppercorn and mint leaf, with subtleties of vanilla extract. Once aerated, notes of clove and an understated sweet tobacco (Hoyo de Monterrey) develop, suggesting complexity. The palate mirrors the nose, but focuses on peppercorn, intertwined with black fruit, juniper and “earthy” tones. Acid is very well balanced with tannic profile, allowing for fruit to shine, but once swallowed, gives way to gripping back palate. Malolactic conversion, lees contact and oak maturity help lift the extended finish, where toast, creamy texture and cocoa nibs take over from fruit. When pairing with food, gravitate toward options rich in protein, acid and salt, in order to balance tannin and increase perceived fruitiness of the wine. Consider a pan seared strip steak with thyme and garlic, mature cheeses (i.e. aged gruyere) or a fall harvest vegetable stew with smoked sausage.

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