Cabernet Franc Reserve Series 2010

Leonard Oakes has achieved greatness seemingly overnight with Icewine while delivering delightful cool climate Rieslings and Chardonnays, you-better-take-notice hybrids and balanced easy drinking reds. A recent release of their newest reds has propelled the winery to new heights thanks to the spectacular 2010 vintage and the precise winemaking of Jonathan Oakes with his Reserve Series Cabernet Franc 2010.

As we should all know by now, cabernet franc grapes thrive in the Niagara region’s soils and microclimates. Depending on the vintage, vineyard and winemaker it can produce light fruit forward, juicy reds while it can also become dark, fleshy, earthy and intense. Leonard Oakes’s 2010 Cabernet Franc probably resembles the latter but it’s a wine that even in its youth is bringing mouth filling flavors in a delicate yet lively structure.

This wine is dark and certainly won’t be confused with pinot noir or other delicately colored wines. With aromas of dark cherry, blackberry, vanilla, dried herbs and spice this wine is already mature in its complexity and fresh in its delivery of ripe fruit flavors.  On the palate it reveals some savory notes as well in the form of smoked meats and pepper while ultimately finishing with the taste of caramel.

Overall this wine adds to the ever-growing lineup of serious cabernet franc based wines in Niagara. Winemaker Jonathan Oakes has coaxed the best attributes from his grapes and presented them in a smooth, round, complex yet easy drinking example. Listed for $20 this Reserve Series red is well worth the cash.