Inniskillin 2012 Cabernet Franc Estate Series

Even though we live in Canada it isn’t often that we drink the wine produced here. One reason for this is good quality Canadian wine tends to be higher priced than the equivalent in other up and coming regions. Canadian wineries are often small or newer than wineries in well known regions, thus making smaller batches of wine pushing the price up. There are a few larger wineries in Canada producing decent quality wine and Inniskillin is one of them.

We first had this wine a number of years ago while on stop over in Revelstoke. I wasn’t into carefully tasting wines or taking notes at the time but knew for some reason this was a good one. We’ve enjoyed it a few more times since and now I can say why I like it.

Cabernet Franc originates in the French region of Bordeaux and is the minor blending grape of their big three (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc). While being a minor player traditionally, it has gained popularity in certain regions in the past number of years. Inniskillin is more famous around the world for their ice-wines but also produce some good table wines, this being one them I think.

Look: Deep ruby red colour and slightly purple, it is considerably dense in the glass and has thick narrow legs. Not much to see here other than the telltale signs of a thick skinned grape and a fairly young wine.

Smell: This wine begins with delicious fruity aromas of ripe strawberries and cherry with some blackberry. Along with this jammy fruity is some noticeable aromas of peppery smokiness and charred oak. While not overly complex the aromas are quite expressive.

Taste: This wine is full bodied with fine gritty tannins, nicely balanced acidity, and ever so slightly sweet. It has darker flavours of blackberry and currants along with some toasty oak, and very likable clove and nutmeg spices. The finish is medium length with more baking spices, chocolate, and mocha flavours. All around very well done.

Conclusion: I was surprised to find this wine to be quite good quality considering it comes from a larger producer in Canada. Most Canadian red varieties I’ve tried over the years have tasted somewhat under ripe and vegetal. Full of engaging fruit and oak influence this is anything but that. I give it a 8.5+/10 for while not being the most complex red wine it is very drinkable with enough interest to keep the keen drinker coming back for more. I quite like it and will be looking for other Inniskillin wines to try.

  • Cabernet Franc
  • Niagara Peninsula, Canada, VQA
  • 2012 – 13%
  • Inniskillin
  • $19.60 at Lacombe Liquor Town (though most wine stores have it)
  • Screw top

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