I first met Jerry Kopanski a few years ago at the Wychwood Barns Farmer’s Market. I was enamoured with his 2011 Cabernet Franc made in a ripasso style. I bought a case of that wine and sadly have none left … it’s hard to hold onto a bottle priced at sixteen dollars the delivered so much. When I stopped by in December I was curious to see what was new in the portfolio.

I was pleased to see that Cabernet Franc at this winery continues to be the standout in the portfolio. Currently you can purchase and taste the 2012 and 2013 vintages. There is interesting use of appassimento as well with a rich and deep Pinot Gris as well. Needless to say I plan on returning to see what the next few vintages of Franc will taste like.

2013 Pinot Gris Appassimento – $17.00 – **** – Pinot Gris is a grape that can often be dismissed as boring – so what happens when you give it the appassimento treatment? The texture of this wine is rich and heavy with aromas and flavours of honey and beeswax making an appearance here. The weight of the wine is mated with peach and golden delicious apple. The finish is long and a mineral note pokes its head through on the finish. I picture this bottle on my table next to creamy pasta or fried fish.

2016 Chardonnay – $24.00 – ***½+ – At the time I tasted this wine it still felt young and maybe a little disjointed. The oak notes scream out of the glass with wood smoke and vanilla. I anticipate with a few months and patience this should become a little more focused and centred. That being said, if you’re not a fan of oak this may not be the wine for you. That being said the concentration of fruit offers a nice match to the buttered popcorn that invades your whole mouth when you take your first sip. The acidity in this bottle pulls the wine together and keeps it clean on the finish with a nice vanilla note that lingers.

2012 Cabernet Franc – $25.00 – **** – This wine is made in an appassimento style and now that we are 6 years away from the hot 2012 vintage it’s starting to show some signs of age. The fruit is a little more dried out – but still plentiful. Aromas and flavours are currant, blackberry, and raspberry. There is a little more smoke and while the tannin is starting to relax it’s still a little grippy on the finish. It will be interesting to see how this will continue to evolve and should easily have another 5 years of life left in a cellar.

2013 Cabernet Franc – $29.00 – **** – This wine is also made in an appassimento style and even though only one year younger, and from a more typical Niagara vintage is brimming with youth. There is a nice vanilla note that envelopes raspberry, and cranberry on the nose and on the palate. The alcohol does warm you up a little bit when you take your first sip, but just enough to remind you that this has had it’s sugars and flavours concentrated. The tannin is approachable but this wine will also evolve nicely for another 5 years next to it’s 2012 counterpart.

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