Monday, January 30, 2006

A tale of two Cab Francs

Cabernet Franc is among my favourite red varietals. I know many wine afficionados view this a a blending grape only. Too bad for them! I'll often pick a Cab Franc over a Cabernet Sauvignon at a side-by-side tasting. Fortunately, many Niagara wineries bottle Cabernet Franc in its pure varietal form.

Over the past few weeks, I 'went to the cellar' to retrieve a couple of Cab Franc. One of those was a bottle I brought back from a trip to the Okanagan Valley a couple of year ago. The 2nd was a local Cab Franc from my favourite local establishment.

I took a my precious bottle of Burrowing Owl Cabernet Franc 2001 to a very special dinner party. The guest chef called for a Cabernet Franc. I actually preferred to match a Chianti Classico Riserva with the course, but I was convinced to offer the Cab Franc. As it turned out, the wine was overly tannic - even for moi. (On the other hand, the CCR would have been no match for the wild boar sausage.)

On the whole, the Burrowing Owl was a bit of a disappointment - hardly the fruity, well-balanced wine I enjoyed so much at the winery. Hey, it happens!

Over the last few evenings, I've been enjoying a Daniel Lenko Cabernet Franc 2003. This has turned out to be excellent. It's still a young wine with a certain racy acidity. I guess I enjoy racy acidity in a wine.

Some people like a wine to soften out. In general, I prefer only a slight softening. However, if you have the 2001 Burrowing Owl Cab Franc, you might wish to keep in cellared a while longer.


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