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Essence Cabernet Franc, 2011

Shipped and sold by 13th Street Winery

2011 Niagara Peninsula 750 mL ,14.5% ALC/VOL

Availability: In stock

Cabernet Franc

Critic's Rating92 pts


This Cabernet Franc is a selection of our very best French barrels from the 2011 harvest. A blend of 12% new, 35% second use and the balance 3rd use and older barrels, this very specific choice comes as a result of multiple samplings and blending trials throughout the life of the wine. A total of 22 barrels of Cabernet Franc were made in 2011, however only the cream of the crop - 8 barrels - were chosen for this wine. A deep rich ruby, this wine offers classic aromas of red raspberry, roasted red bell pepper and warm chocolate with hints of coffee/mocha and vanilla bean from the oak. Very concentrated with remarkable density, youthful grippy tannins and a long earthy finish.

Certainly a wine well suited to cellaring through 2019, if enjoying it sooner please feel free to serve at cellar temperature, decant up to 1 hour in advance and use full-sized balloon style stemware. Classic pairings include roasted and grilled red meats, especially those with gamey notes such as lamb or certain cuts of well-aged grass-fed beef. Roasted vegetables with middle eastern or Mediterranean spices and herbs, firm, aged sheep’s milk cheeses such as Pecorino or Ossau Iraty will also marry beautifully with this robust supple red.

Awards & Ratings

Critic’s Rating:

92 pts

“The nose of this Cab Franc is a treat — smoky, swirling spices to go with sweet cherry pie, plums, blueberry, black currants, cigar leaf and violets. It’s ripe and concentrated in the mouth, a big wine to be sure, with meaty, lavish fruit and grippy tannins but the lush fruits and spice are never overshadowed by the oak. A well done Cab Franc that will need time to be fully appreciated.”

- Rick Vansickle


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Tasting Notes

This was a featured wine in July's wine club package.


Geographical Indication: Niagara Peninsula, ON

Vineyard: Various vineyards in Niagara Peninsula.

Cases Produced: 155


Appearance: Clear, medium intensity, garnet core to a paler garnet rim. 

Nose: Clean, medium+ intensity of developing aromas of sweet tobacco, pencil shaving, chocolate, leather, cherries, black plum, and a touch of raisins.

Palate: Dry, medium+ acid, medium+ alcohol, medium+ drying tannins and medium+ body. Pronounced developed flavours of leather, cherries, orange peel, tobacco, vanilla, toast, and black plum. Medium+ finish.

Quality: Good quality. Well made and well balanced. Drink now while it is at its peak. 

Food pairings: Hamburger, grilled steak, lamb chops, venison, meat stew of all kinds.


Wine Writer’s Comment:

It’s always a treat to be able to purchase a wine that shows some evolution. While this wine might not keep for many more years, it’s certainly very enjoyable to drink now. Cabernet Franc has its own unique expression in Niagara and it has shown again and again that it can succeed in this region. Here you have some beautiful complex flavours that demonstrate what happens when the grape ages.


Made in very small quantity, this Cabernet Franc was made from a selection of the best French barrels from the 2011 vintage. A total of 8 barrels of Cabernet Franc made the Essence cuvée. Rare and hard to find, stock up before it’s gone for good! And remember to serve with food, the assertive tannins need it.

- Michelle Bouffard, @michellebwine

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