2015 Cabernet Franc – $19.95 – ****+ – The Cabernet Franc from Featherstone is always a strong offering and one of my go-to bottles when cooking red meat around the house. The 2015 offering from Featherstone is one of the best vintages in recent memory. Beautiful aromas or raspberry and blackberry climb out of the glass with beautiful concentration. If there is any doubt about the strength of Cabernet Franc in this province you need to look no further than this bottle. 2015 was a fairly typical summer for Niagara and was met with an extended fall that allowed the fruit to reach full maturity and it really comes through in this bottle. This may do well in a cellar for the next 3-5 years but I plan on enjoying this wine in it’s youth so the fresh fruit flavours can really be unlocked to their full potential.
2016 Phoenix (Gewurztraminer) – $24.95 – **** – You won’t see many bottles of Gewurztraminer from Ontario anymore. The cold winters from 2013 and 2014 ravaged vineyards planted with the varietal. While the summer climate for Ontario makes for great bottles of this floral wine… the winter isn’t so kind. So after talking to many winemakers about how to move forward I hear many plans on replanting vineyards with more winter hardy varietals… so when this bottle arrived in my hands I was excited as I had already eulogized the vines from this winery. (http://andrewinereview.ca/2015/04/17/april-18-2014-flat-rock-pink-twisted-2013-featherstone-gewurztraminer) This vineyard is clearly something special to bounce back and rising form the ashes we are greeted with thie botlte of floral greatness. Beautiful acidity brings balance to this bottle and makes it a perfect match for spicy cuisine of any stripe.
2016 Select Late Harvest Gewurztraminer – $24.95 – ****½ – For those who feel that Icewine is too sweet for them I present for you this bottle of late harvest. The sweetness is a little lower than most icewines but it brings the same rich flavours to the glass. This retains the tropical and floral qualities of Gewurztraminer but it brings the richness and sweet qualities of a bottle of icewine. Don’t kid yourself, in spite of the sweetness this isn’t a bottle that belongs at the end of your meal. Celebrate this bottle by putting it at the head of your table with hard cheeses or appetizers. There is still nice acidity to this bottle that keeps it from invading the palate and lingering too long.
2013 Pinot Noir – $24.95 – ****+ – I will be the first to admit that Pinot Noir is not something I associate with Featherstone… Pinot from the bench is something that can be transcendent (just ask the folks at Rosewood, Westcott or Featherstone). The moment this hits your glass you are greeted with a violet garden. The floral note on this wine is so intense that it takes a moment to find the blackberry, plum and black cherry buried underneath the garden. The floral quality of this wine is intense when it enters your mouth but the fruit reveals itself bit by bit with every sip. This is one of those wines that could be paired with grilled lamb or roast duck but in my books this is one of those wines that pairing with food takes away from the experience… Expect to find this bottle in my house served with only one thing … a second glass.