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Inniskillin Cabernet Franc Icewine (375ML half-bottle) 2002
100% Cabernet Franc grapes grown in the Niagara Peninsula.
Winemaker Karl Kaiser is particularly thrilled with this effort and here's why: it's the first red Icewine that tastes like Icewine. Even better, it actually tastes like Cabernet Franc. The totally cooperative weather allowed for harvesting of the Cabernet Franc grapes at the perfect balance of sugar and acid resulting in an exceptional vintage.
Fine cherry – currant fruit, a hint of ground herbs, red pepper, perhaps some cardamom or nutmeg, plus the smoke and vanilla of a gently oaked red. Lush, creamy, sweet and delicate on the palate, with excellent length. Real finesse; outstanding length.
Food Pairing Suggestions
Inniskillin's Cabernet Franc Icewine pairs particularly well with chocolate-based desserts: warm chocolate cake, bitter or semi-sweet custards and tarts; smoky, caramelized desserts; blue-veined cheeses such as Stilton and Roquefort, Semi-soft Cambazola, soft Saga, or on its own at the end of a fine meal.
Serving Temp: Serve well chilled, 5 – 9°C.
Aging: Enjoy now through 2011.
What is Icewine?
VQA Icewine is a highly concentrated dessert wine made by harvesting grapes naturally frozen on the vine at -10 C in December-January. Inniskillin VQA Icewine is internationally awarded and recognized and is exported throughout the world.
With a cool climate suitable for more than just icewine production, Canada is also home to excellent dry still and sparkling wines. Most viticulture is based in Ontario on the east coast and British Columbia on the west coast. Because of the high risk of winter freeze and spring frost, plantings are typically centered on large bodies of water to take advantage of their temperature moderating effects.
In Ontario, particularly on the Niagara Peninsula, aromatic white varieties like Riesling and Gewürztraminer are most successful, often with racy acidity and citrus notes. Many wineries produce both dry and semi-dry versions. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Gamay, and Cabernet Franc perform nicely here as well. For icewine, French-American hybrid variety Vidal is popular. In British Columbia, many of the same grapes are grown, but there is also a significant emphasis on Bordeaux varieties—especially Merlot.
Apart from the classics, we find many regional gems of different styles.
Late harvest wines are probably the easiest to understand. Grapes are picked so late that the sugars build up and residual sugar remains after the fermentation process. Ice wine, a style founded in Germany and there referred to as eiswein, is an extreme late harvest wine, produced from grapes frozen on the vine, and pressed while still frozen, resulting in a higher concentration of sugar. It is becoming a specialty of Canada as well, where it takes on the English name of ice wine.
Vin Santo, literally “holy wine,” is a Tuscan sweet wine made from drying the local white grapes Trebbiano Toscano and Malvasia in the winery and not pressing until somewhere between November and March.