March 5, 2012
Southbrook 2001/2002 Triomphe Cabernet Franc, side-by-side
(Re-Tasted March 2012) ... Let me just start out by saying that I am a little shocked that I had no pre-tasted notes from these wines, so I had to look a few places before finding something on my Lost and Found site; but now that we are all linked in it's time to look at what happened when I conducted an interesting experiment with my wine class that proved to have some very interesting and intriguing results ...
The "experiment", as I like to call it, was done to see if they liked older wines and, in particular, if they liked older Ontario wines, to show vintage variation and to see how the wines held up in the eyes of 'your average every day wine drinker', they are not seasoned wine types. I poured for them, what I believe to be, Ontario's signature red grape from two similar but wildly different vintages. First allow me to explain my vintage comment: 2002 was the first "great" vintage of the 2000's ... 2001 had that possibility in its pedigree, but "the lady bug" incident in Ontario spoiled many bottles, therefore the 2001 vintage will forever have an asterisks beside it. Thankfully that was not the case from either of these wines. I poured Southbrook's 2001 & 2002 Triomphe Cabernet Franc side-by-side for my class (blind I might add) and sat back while they nosed and tasted the two wines. At first there was a lot of talk about the smell of the wine ... but as I explained during the reveal, "if you had been locked in a bottle for 10 years, you'd smell pretty funky too." My real moment of pride came when Gary (a returning student) piped up with the comment, "are they the same wines from different years?" When pressed he added, "cause they smell similar."
As for the results of the tasting ... within about 10 minutes the wines began to open and all the kidding was dropped in favour of a few oooo's and ahhhh's about the development of the wine, both aromatically and palately ... the 2001 had balsamic and tobacco on the nose, a smooth palate which carried with it the sweetness of dried fruit. The 2002 was still a little rough around the edges, but with a real drink-ability to it that suggested a few more years would do it justice. In the end, the class preferred the 2001 four-to-one; but it would be an interesting test to try again in 2-3 years.
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