Good Food Revolution and the New York Wine and Grape Foundation present Taste NY…

Remember the world before the COVID-19 crisis? In March of this year the New York Wine and Grape Foundation, the LCBO, and a handful of boutique wine importing agencies launched an ambitious project to bring a showcase of some of the best wines of the Empire State to Ontario. The plan was to introduce local wine enthusiasts to treasures from Long Island, the Hudson Valley and the Finger Lakes through this promotion at the LCBO website, and make the wines available online… then COVID struck and like so many plans in March, things didn’t quite go as expected.

The good news is that the wines have been safely stored in the LCBO’s climate controlled warehouse and are still very much available. Back in the early spring NYWGF got the esteemed wine writers and critics David Lawrason and Sara d’Amato to host a series of video tastings of each wine with the legendary New York City sommelier and Terroir Wine Bar restaurateur, Paul Grieco. Good Food Revolution is working with New York Wines to help get this story out and connect Ontario wine enthusiasts and GFR readers with eight ‘Taste NY‘ wines rarely seen on this side of the border.

The fourth wine we’re featuring is the 2015 Fjord Vineyards Estate Cabernet Franc ($34.95 – LCBO# 15592). Read Jamie’s notes and summer pairing recommendations below. Watch the video below for d’Amato, Grieco and Lawrason’s live tasting and impressions, as well as winemaker Matthew Spaccarelli’s story of how that vintage came to be. And then follow the instructions on how to buy a bottle or a few. You can also see the other wines in the Taste NY series here. – Malcolm Jolley, August 2020

Jamie Drummond’s Notes on the 2015 Fjord Vineyards Estate Cabernet Franc

One would think that this 2015 from the Hudson River would be showing a bit of bottle age, but the fruit is amazingly fresh and spirited for a wine of almost five years of age, and I put this down to the wine’s enclosure; Vigneron Matthew Spaccarelli is a big fan of the screw-cap, and his preference pays off in spades with this delectably varietally correct Cabernet Franc bottling.

The glass is an olfactory fulmination of super-ripe blackcurrants, with none of the herbaceousness one can often find in Cab Franc in cooler vintages. The explosive dark fruit nose certainly speaks to the warmer 2015 vintage, and is augmented with subtle notes of cardamom and violets.

Despite exhibiting considerable richness and depth on the palate, this wine is in essence a more medium-bodied illustration of New World Cab Franc, weighing in at a pleasantly moderate 12.9% alcohol. The tannins are advantageously soft and supple, with just the right amount of firmness, giving the wine a captivating textural appeal that I find is so often lacking in other examples at this price point. The dark fruit cores extends through the mid-palate into a very long finish with nuanced mineral/graphite elements.

As for food pairing, I feel that this wine is seriously crying out for some herb/wine marinated lamb chops grilled over some very hot wood embers. I’d also suggest giving the wine a little chill before serving, so as one can observe it evolve in the glass as it slowly warms up.


The 2015 Fjord Vineyards Estate Cabernet Franc is on the shelves at a select number of LCBO Vintages shops, including Summerhill, Queen’s Quay and Eglinton and Laird in Toronto, Rideau and King Edward in Ottawa and Cornwall and Trafalgar in Oakville. Click here to check inventory and find the shop stocking it closest to you. Or shop online and take advantage of the LCBO’s store or home delivery options.

This wine and all of the other eight Taste NY wines available in Ontario are featured and can be browsed at this special LCBO Discover The Wines of New York page.

Email versions of this post won’t display video. Please click here to see the video at GFR.

Watch GFR every week for a new featured Taste NY wine, offered in Ontario for a limited time, while stocks last. Or browse the series here.

Taste NY, launched by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in 2013, highlights the quality, diversity, and economic impact of food and beverages grown, produced, or processed in New York State. Taste NY aims to create new opportunities for producers through events, retail locations, and partnerships.
The New York Wine & Grape Foundation is a Good Food Fighter. Please support the businesses and organizations that support Good Food Revolution.