August 26, 2010
(Re-Tasted August 2010) ... It's the day after the trying, and I just finished reading my previous review of this wine and can really see/taste the change in this wine over the past 3 years. If you would like to refresh yourself with what I said previously click on the link above, I'll wait while you check it out.
Today I opened a bottle and was surprised at the incredible aromatics of the wine, lovely and red fruited - the taste was so-so, but what can I expect from a wine trapped for 3 years in bottle - so I let it breathe a little more, swirled it some more and let it sit while I cooked my dinner (BBQ pulled chicken). When I finally sat down about half an hour later the wine told a different story. The aromatics were still there with raspberry and licorice along with some vanilla wood backing it up. The taste was much better after the initial sip: sour cherry, cranberry (lots of sourish red fruit throughout) with firm acidity, but it paired well with the BBQ chicken and the sauce I poured over top. The wine's a little lean but still good with food - the back label said it is a full-bodied wine, but I wouldn't go that far, medium-bodied at this point, at best. Time to drink it up now and over the next 2-3 years.
August 4, 2010
(Re-Tasted August 2010) ... I have a confession to make and I feel bad that I have to admit this to you, but I feel we are friends and that I can share this with you: I stole this wine from Vineland Estates, I hope winemaker Brian Schmidt can forgive me.
Okay, I didn't really steal this bottle of wine, but drinking it tonight I sure feel like I did ... I paid a piddly $12.95 for this bottle, but it tastes like a wine twice its price and it will seem even better in years to come. This was one of those "wine bargains" you hear talk about, a wine that delivers beyond its price point. This is a beauty of a Cabernet Franc with smoky black fruit, spiced dried cherry tobacco and much more, and what's more this one is far from being past its prime - there's lots of life left in the bottle. 5 years for a $12.95 wine, do you really expect that kind of longevity? Not really. 10 years? That would be amazing, and I think it's very doable here, another 5 years wouldn't put too much of a ding n the taste. It will be nice to test this theory in a few years, and looking in my cellar I see I will be able to do just that.
Now I realize that I didn't just steal this bottle, I committed an act of grand theft larceny; I hope the folks at Vineland don't send the cops to my door after reading this - but if they do I hope the constables that shows up like wine, we can share a bottle before they haul me away.
August 2, 2010
(Re-Tasted August 2010) ... I've been eyeing up this wine for about a month now, trying to decide the exact time to give it a try, would I be too early? Too late? Or would I be in the sweet spot?
I re-read my original tasting note about this wine and noticed that a straight Franc is a rarity in the world of Henry of Pelham, so this bottle is to be cherished. But it's not touchy-feely time; now is the time to pop the cork and give it a go. My first sniff was that of spice and pepper, very welcoming. A few swirls of the wine and some herbs come to the fore, like Italian seasoning, then a smokey tobacco note, then some dried cranberry (I knew there had to be some fruit in there somewhere). The taste is smokey-red fruit in nature, with some dried tobacco leaves, spice and white pepper ... and that was just in the first 10 minutes.
The next ten offered up more excitement. Sweet vanilla-cherry-tobacco caressed the nose, while the palate showed black cherry with a spiced nuance ... nice to see that fruit has finally decided to show itself, and very nicely I might add. Tannins are soft and supple and each sip offers up more and more flavour and enjoyment. If you bought a few of these I would suggest trying one now, as this wine has really started come into its own (not that it wasn't good from the get go, but it's gotten better); I would also leave a bottle lying down for another couple of years as I can see this one getting even better by 2012-2014. Enjoy ... I know I'm going to.