THE ADVOCATE 393
VOL. 78 PART 3 MAY 2020
The Foreign Affair, it is a Meritage blend of Cabernet Franc (forty-five per
cent), Cabernet Sauvignon (thirty-five per cent), Merlot (fifteen per cent)
and Petit Verdot (five per cent). The grapes were vinted in the Ripasso style,
meaning that the crushed grapes are fermented on the pressed-off skins of
the winery’s other Appassimento-style wines, so as to concentrate flavours.
(Many of their wines are done Appassimento-style, with the grapes being
partially dried on straw mats before fermenting.4) It took gold with 90 points
at the 2018 Canada National Wine Awards. On the lifted nose are black currant,
dark cherry, black currant, some cigar box and smoky oak and notes of
graphite. Its flavours are the same dark cherry and currant, plus some blackberry
and plum and some dried herbs on its smoky, spicy prolonged finish.
The tannins are well integrated. It is an impressive example from one of
Canada’s other wine regions and will pair well with chicken, pork, lamb or
beef on the BBQ or a rich Italian dish like a ragout. We had it with lamb chops
with garlic jus, potatoes and broccoli rabe with sautéed garlic.
GARZON CABERNET FRANC TANNAT 2017
Maldonado, Uruguay #832774 $20.99
Uruguay is the mecca for Tannat lovers, and this blend of eighty per cent
Cab Franc and twenty per cent Tannat does not disappoint. It was fermented
and aged in stainless steel on its lees. Dark reddish-black, it displays
black cherry and currant on its somewhat dusty nose. On the palate there
is more black fruit, in particular cherry, raspberry and dried currant, mixed
with baking chocolate and spice and some vanilla. It has a bit of a sweet and
hot finish, thanks to its fourteen per cent alcohol level. As a huge wine, it
needs food to match, perhaps a steak with green peppercorns, or slowroasted
1. DNA analysis indicates that Cabernet Franc is one of
two parents of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carménère.
See Jancis Robinson, Julia Harding & José
Vouillamoz, Wine Grapes: A Complete Guide to
1,368 Vine Varieties, Including Their Origins and
Flavours (Penguin, 2012).
2. Jancis Robinson, Jancis Robinson’s Guide to Wine
Grapes (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996) at 36.
3. “Cabernet Franc”, Wikipedia, online: <en.wiki
4. Ripasso wines are a great invention of the Italians
that give much of the refinement of Amarone at a
fraction of the price. After pressing the dried grapes
from which Amarone is made, Valpolicella wine is
passed over the still-warm marc (pressed skins) of the
Amarone. A second alcoholic fermentation then
begins, which increases the alcohol content and
makes the wine richer in colour and bouquet.