In the calendar of holidays devoted to wine days, one of the latest to be entered is Cabernet Franc Day, spearheaded by a winemaking couple in California that fell in love with one of the older grape varietals. Not only that, but they were finally approved to have a tasting room and fortuitously it was announced by them on Cabernet Franc Day. It is considered the third grape of Bordeaux and science has proven that it is the father of Cabernet Sauvignon and lately to found also to be part of Merlot; which explains why the grape is so often blended with those grapes. And as a personal aside, it is the grape for my Bride, which I sometimes take advantageous of, when I am selecting a wine. My own belief is that, I think it displays terroir the best of all the red wines.
This past Thanksgiving, we were going to have a Cabernet Franc celebration. One of my Bride’s sisters discovered a Cabernet Franc wine from South America that they poured for my Bride one night and she was ecstatic about the wine and they said that they were going to get another bottle or two for me to try on Thanksgiving. Her mother-in-law was coming to our house for the American Thanksgiving Day dinner as well, and she went to the Wine Store to get a bottle of Cabernet Franc from a winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake that we totally enjoyed during our trips up there. In Canada, you basically have to go the Province to buy your wine, beer and liquor, at one time, in Michigan it was the same way, as I can remember as a kid going with my father when he was making a liquor run; it eventually changed to the point where now you can buy alcoholic beverages at grocery stores, corner markets, gas stations and if they could get it cheap enough, even the “Dollar” stores may one day sell the products. I mean, how can you not like a winery that uses not only my initials, but my Bride’s as well. We had to take a Kodak moment to memorialize that visit. Unfortunately, my brother-in-law’s mother slipped and fell at their house and later it was revealed that she broke her pelvis, and understandably none of them came for dinner, but we did send them some food that evening. So, that evening we only had one bottle of Cabernet Franc from our cellar, along with the other wines we poured. We went to pay a visit to see her, before she made the probably painful return trip to Canada, even with pain medications, but Canada really doesn’t want to pay America for medical services and vice-versa.
While we were visiting, she gave us our Holiday gift of a bottle of Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Reserve Cabernet Franc-Cabernet Sauvignon Niagara Peninsula VQA 2021. We decided to have Filet Mignon, potatoes and haricot vert for our Cabernet Franc dinner. Alan Jackson and Don Triggs started the winery in 1993, and they are billed as “Canada’s Most Awarded Winery.” They have vineyards in Ontario and British Columbia. I am glad that the winery had some information about the wines, because I had to search my articles for any background information, because they only want to tell the world that they are diversified and they must be afraid of the past twenty-nine years, which makes research more difficult. The grapes were harvested and vinified separately, with cold soaking on the skins for two days. Initial fermentation and malolactic fermentation were done in vats. Afterwards the juice was aged for six months in oak, and then blended afterwards. For this wine, it was determined that the Cabernet Franc was the dominate wine. A nice dark garnet wine with notes of dark fruit, florals and vanilla. On the palate I thought more red fruit, than dark fruit with some tones of oak, soft tannins and a shorter finish. While a nice tasting wine, it was by no means a Cabernet Franc wine that we were expecting.