May 29, 2009

Mountain Road Wine Company 2002 Cabernet Franc

(Re-Tasted May 2009) ... I have been sitting on a mountain of 2002 wines from Ontario (no pun intended, I swear). It would be safe to say that I have at least 40 different bottles of 2002 just waiting for me to try them (either again or that have become "lost") - this number also doesn't cover the amount of multiple bottles I have, just the number of different wines. You see, 2002 was the first big vintage of the new millennium, some might argue 2001 was pretty good too, but 2002 was a year to crow about, and many wineries did. Since then we have seen good years in 2005 (although short cropped) and the monster 2007 (from which wines are still coming onto shelves). In my inventory I noticed I had a few different bottles from Mountain Road, I'll get into the reserves I little later in the week (which I had not previously reviewed), but I thought I would start looking back right here, with this 2002 Cabernet Franc.

This is a wine I would call a "window wine", that's because it drinks in a certain window; let me explain. I opened the bottle and was immediately struck by a peppery smell, then the green pepper materialized, I expected that because it was in my original note. But instead of fresh green pepper it was more of a roasted green pepper, with toasty charred-like notes. The flavours revealed littled, just lots of dry woodsy flavours. So out came the decanter and the trials began.

With quite a bit of air the wine's nose soften even more, still on the roasted green pepper side but soft and fairly aromatic (if you like the smell of green pepper that is). With air the palate produced more black pepper and spicy tastes along with biting tannins and plenty of acidity. The fruit has almost completed dropped out of this wine and the flavours have become mostly secondary characteristics (barrel notes - woods and spices). The longer it remained opened and the more air the more bitter the finish became, so the "window of drinking" is somewhere within 30 minutes to an hour of opening, or swirl it around in the decanter for about a minute or two.

This wine is rough around the edges and the finish is a little on the bitter side, so not one for drinking on its own. What I did find quite appealing was how well it did go with food. I decided on chicken tonight and with each bite and sip I took together I noticed the wine added a nice smokiness to the food - bbq'ed flavour without the grill.

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