April 4, 2014

The Story of Two 2002 Cabernet Francs

Thomas & Vaughan 2002 Cabernet Franc:  Not previously reviewed
Peninsula Ridge 2002 Cabernet Franc:  read the original review from May 2005

This is the story of two bottles of wine ... both from the Bench area of Niagara, both made from the same grape and both made in the same year ... but with serious differences in smell and taste, for one simple reason - let's take a look:

(Tasted March 2014) - I located this bottle in my wine cellar and immediately became excited, Thomas & Vaughan made some very interesting and exciting wines in their time and even had some older vines, especially of Cabernet Franc, and so this seemed a great bottle to open and reminisce about a long lost piece of Ontario wine history.  I knew I was into for a rude awakening the moment I removed the capsule and saw the plastic cork.  Crap!  But I was determined to give it a fair shake.  No too long ago I opened a 6-year-old bottle sealed with a plastic corked that was actually drinkable (not drinkable for long, but drinkable), the problem is this one was double that.  It didn't take long for me to realize I was not going to be as lucky.  The Thomas & Vaughan had such great promise but was oxidized (slightly at first, but still evident) as time wore on (no more than 30 minutes) it was fully oxidized and undrinkable.  Lost & Found Rating:  Trash

(Re-Tasted March 2014) - While I waited on the T&V wine to see what would happen to it I thought I'd pull out a "back-up" and found this bottle of Peninsula Ridge 2002 Cabernet Franc, sealed with a natural cork.  I broke the cork halfway through the opening so I struggled a little to get the remaining piece out and managed to remove it with a minimal amount of cork bits getting into the wine.  This was a marked improvement from the T&V wine right out of the bottle:  smoky with dried blackberry and cassis, sweet dried raspberry, tobacco leaf, and a long smoky finish with a certain smoothness as the tannins have mellowed.  It continued to evolve through the evening, and as the Thomas & Vaughan was dying a slow cruel death this one was rising like a pheonix to take over the void on my palate the T&V was leaving behind.


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