April 28, 2009

Southbrook 1999 Triomphe Cabernet Franc

Found April 2009

The more I try the Southbrook older vintage wines made by winemaker Derek Barnett, the more impressed I am with not only his abilities (at such an early stage of his career), but the philosophy of this young winery at the time. Those who have read my previous Lost & Found articles know about my history with Southbrook, my closest neighbourhood winery, and Bill Redelmeier's mantra about wanting his wines to have ageability ... he found a kindred spirit in winemaker Barnett, who makes his wines in the same vein even today (but now with Lailey). Ten years on this wine is spectacular; even more interesting is that you can pour it straight from the bottle or decant, and still get similar flavours and enjoyment. This wine is vibrant and alive with smells of cinnamon, cedar and big black cherries. Hard to believe this wine is ten years old, as it shows little signs of the dried fruit of age on the nose. Decanted: vanilla-cinnamon-cherry.

Tastes were similar to what you got on the nose, offering up blackberry, black cherry and cassis - good fruit and all black; while the finish was smooth with creme-brulee over and under tones. The only word I can use here is spectacular. Tannins have settles and there was also a slight white pepper note, but this wine has hit, not only its stride, but possibly its apex of life. Wine lives on an ageing curve and this one is right on top of the hill - how long it'll stay there is unknown, but its amazing when you find one of these and have a chance to drink it. Lost & Found Rating: Treasure ++

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