Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Norman Hardie Winery 2005 County Cabernet Franc - $24.00

From young vines come young wines with little finesse – that’s just a simple rule of thumb, but thankfully, in the hands of Norm Hardie that’s not always the case. Norm has produced yet another wonderful wine, but this time he’s used all County fruit, from his 4 year old vines, which makes the wine both interesting and appealing. This wine can be consumed two ways: slightly chilled or at about room temperature … and it makes for an interesting experiment on how temperature affects wine.
With a slight chill the wine has a red raspberry nose and soft fruity flavours … so it makes a great wine for sipping at a party or on a patio somewhere (I would say on a late fall afternoon – but our weather this year does not seem to be co-operating in this endeavour). Wait for the wine to warm up a little and you’ll be able to pick out more smells and tastes, in short the wine becomes more complex. Now there are a lot more aromas in the glass, then the chilled version would suggest. Those soft approachable red raspberries turn to black raspberries along with blackberries, licorice, cloves, sage, cinnamon and oak. Meanwhile the soft fruity mouth-feel switches gears and becomes black fruit, cassis, plum, and earthiness with a medium finish. It’s an interesting experiment, but one you might want to try on a less expensive bottle – at $24 this wine might seem a little high, but consider the 2005 short crop and that this wine is all-county fruit, and you’ll see why it’s that price. I’ve set a bottle down for a couple of years to see how it develops, you on the other hand can either drink it now or do the same … and we’ll test it again then. Cheers. Available at the winery only.

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