There are hundreds of different red wine grapes, and thousands of different blends used to create a color palette of infinitive dimension. There are a few standout favorites that continue to find favor with both casual red wine drinkers as well as experienced collectors.
Cabernet Franc, one of the parent grapes of the very popular Cabernet Sauvignon, produces a lighter, brighter red wine. Moderate in acidity, Cabernet Franc has a smoother mouth feel than its offspring, often hinting at flavors of tobacco, raspberry, cassis, and bell pepper. The Cabernet Franc grape ripens a week or two earlier than Cabernet Sauvignon, making it a good vine for the cooler climates of Canadian vineyards. For example, our 2010 Cabernet Franc has hints of dark cherries, leather, and just a whiff of smoke on the nose. The first sip delivers soft red fruit on the palate, with strong tannins for a lingering finish. Similarly, the 2008 Cabernet Franc Icewine mimics the characteristics of the varietal, but with the concentrated sweetness achieved by pressing grapes that were frozen while still on the vine. The flavors tend toward strawberry, blackberry and candied fruit on the nose, with a sweet follow through, making this pale brick sip a rare, pleasant share.
Another red wine favorite comes from the Pinot Noir variety. Pinot can be a fussy grape in the vineyard, but when everything goes right, it is a smooth, supple, delightful red sip. Earthy flavors along with raspberry, black cherry, and currant, come forward in the glass. A component in many Champagnes, its high acidity, and minimal tannins are highly dependent on the skills of the winemaker and at the mercy of the climate to develop to its full potential. Moreover, our 2007 Pinot Noir Reserve Dry wine exhibits excellent qualities of the variety, with a clear, dark red color and a nose of vanilla, leather, and sweet cherries. The healthy acidity supports this wine with substantial body, leading a desirable smooth finish. You’ll also be excited to know that out our 2008 Cabernet Franc Icewine and our 2010 Cabernet Franc have won a silver medal and a bronze medal respectively at the 2013 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition!