Cabernet Franc is a wild card, a bit of a rocker – too abrasive for the smooth world, so wineries tend to tame it one way or other, which is unfortunate. A bit like telling Springsteen or Dylan to ‘soften-up’. Bravo to Charmes for staying ‘true’ and producing bold, concentrated, gutsy local Cab Franc. A wonderful hit of fruity/herbaceous/earthy experiences. I love the pure, natural expression that screams red wine in its most traditional form. The gutsy character is perfect for complimenting foods and times that involve gusto, and which welcome a sharp wine – burgers, rack of lamb, sausage penne pasta. Be sure to get the 2015. Fans of rustic might agree with me that is one of the best local reds ever. Seriously.
P.S. For years I’ve been touting Charmes Gamay as a best Canadian, and here’s another feather in their cap. Both are $15 wines. Bravo again.
CHATEAU DES CHARMES 15 Cabernet Franc, Estate grown, VQA Niagara in the Lake 162603 $14.95