Let's be franc: Cabernet Franc is an underrated grape that demands much care from those who would bottle it.
But it also offers one of the best values from Tinhorn Creek, where wine maker Sandra Oldfield (renowned for her Merlots) says she loves the opportunity it presents: "Cab Franc is challenging because it takes a lot more work to make a good one," she says., adding: "It's also more difficult to harvest ripe."
Tinhorn has grown Cab Franc on the South Okanagan's Black Sage Bench since 1994, and even faced with a lack of consumer interest in the varietal as a standalone, Ms. Oldfield resisted pulling out the vines. Her foresight paid off – it is now considered one of the Okanagan's exciting red varietals.
This rich, fruity Cab Franc is edgy and expressive, with notes of spice and vanilla flavours. Food friendly, it's especially good with roast pork and meat stews, too. Or try it with a curry-and-yogurt-braised chickenor well-aged cheddar. You can tuck this one away for three to five years. Available at VQA Stores and private wine shops.
Kasey Wilson is food editor of Wine Access magazine and editor of Best Places Vancouver.