By Jamie Drummond

Best Overall Red,
and Best Cabernet Franc Over $20:

2007 Château de Charmes
Cabernet Franc
“St. David’s Bench Vineyard”
St. David’s Bench VQA $25.95

After an exhaustive blind tasting we were very happy to see that this Cabernet Franc bottling doing so well at this year’s Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Wine Competition. If the truth be told, it has to be said that this particular bottling was the hands down favourite of the panel at the informal sip-and-savour after the day-long judging session also!

This wine should delight anyone with even a passing interest in the Cabernet Franc varietal. The nose is classic ripe Cabernet Franc, full of ripe red/black forest berries and spice with nary a hint of that green, vegetal note that one so often finds on many a Niagara example. The palate is surprisingly substantial and generous, giving and yet being kept in check by a wonderfully tight tannic structure that will need a few years (five plus years perhaps?) to allow the wine to show at its very best. Saying that, it is damn delicious right now… I’d probably decant it before serving though. We tried it with a traditional Greek Moussaka. Excellent!

Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of  Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… and a huge thank you to all of the wineries who participated in the RAWF Wine Competition this year.