Loire Red from the Great White North: Vineland Estate Winery Cabernet Franc 2008, Niagara Peninsula VQA

Inspired by a little Loire tasting yesterday evening at a sympathetic and little wine merchant’s place I had to grab for this! For lunch!

Yesterday I had some really interesting and some “eeerrrr I don’t know” Cabernet Francs. Especially the wines by the Domaine des Roches Neuves showed largely some pretty good and convincing performance. In particular the Saumur Champigny Marginal wines (2000, 2008) showed not overwhelming, but reliable quality. Sadly the Chinon Cabernet Francs by the Domaines Breton and Philippe Alliet did not really leave an impressive resonating memory on my palate. Probably due to the fact that my ability to assess such wines is too pathetically poor. Maybe some other reason. Who knows!?! In addition to the reds the Chenin Blanc wines from Roches Neuves, like the L’Insolite 2010, and some dry 2010 Vouvray wines by the Domaine Huet, as well as the Montlouis Habert Clos from Francois Chidaine showed distinct and reliable qualities. The two most surprising whites of the evening were the “very much getting used to” Anjou blanc Coteau des Treilles 2009 by Pithon-Paillé and the unusual and well elaborate Sancerre “La Croix au Garde” 2010 by the Domaine Henry Pellé. Maybe the last mentioned was the highlight of the evening (astounding and positively anomalous style). All in all a very nice wine tasting, but not overwhelming or le-gen-da-ry! Well enough Loire!

Back to the Great White North! Vineland might be the most famous and still mostly well received large wine producer on the Niagara peninsula. Over the years I had the opportunity to taste several interesting as well as really impressive wines from them. Especially the Merlot wines showed quite a lot of potential. Even the basic qualities. Today’s Cabernet Franc however is nothing really worth to mention. I got quite a lot of boiled fruit flavours from plums and raspberries. Slightly slick fruitful flavours. Plenty of tamed animalistic attributes. Sadly! The concentration was mediocre, or even thin, and the acid appeared to be rather coarse. I am sorry to say: This Cabernet Franc was a bit thin, simply boring, spineless and lifeless. Not really recommendable! Next time I will try something more reliable from Canada. Maybe BC stuff!
Blast, I probably should have tried some maple syrup with my steak (remember, lunch wine). That might have saved my day ;-)

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