Harvest Series 2021: Week 11
We made it! Harvest has come to an end at Lakeview, but the work has just begun for our winemaking team. The 2021 harvest has been one for the ages, and has seen struggles all across the region. Dealing with rain and less than ideal temperatures after what was looking like another stellar vintage in the late summer, winemakers have pulled out all the stops to ensure that everything will still end up deliciously in the glass.
You really can't talk about a harvest without talking about the king of all grapes - Cabernet Sauvignon. Cabernet Sauvignon is one of, if not the most popular wine in the entire world. From legendary Cabernet Sauvignon coming from Bordeaux, or the incredibly popular California Cabernet, Cabernet Sauvignon is one grape to rule them all
Cabernet Sauvignon is traditionally one of the last grapes harvested in the region, needing the most heat and sunlight of any grapes classically grown in Niagara. The struggle with Cabernet Sauvignon is how long that it needs to take to ripen up to fully develop sugars, flavours, and complexity. Some years you'll be hard pressed to see single varietal Cabernet Sauvignon wines done to elite weather, just due to how our autumn season can end up. In hot and dry years, it can produce legendary, full-bodied, cellar worthy wines that can almost stand toe-to-toe with the legendary producers of Bordeaux
While Cabernet Franc is somewhat better suited for our cooler climate, in perfect conditions Niagara can produce legendary Cabernet Sauvignon. Cabernet Sauvignon is also at the heart of many blends within the area, matching beautifully with Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Shiraz to name a few. When youthful, cool-climate Cabernet Sauvignon has youthful gripping tannins, deep dark fruit, and toasted oak character. However, as delicious as young Cabernet Sauvignon is, when allowed to age in bottle, it produces some truly stellar wines in Niagara. As Cabernet Sauvignon ages, the tannins become rounder, more complex, and less gripping on the palate. Bright, ripe fruit transforms into dried fruit like raisins and prunes, with balancing notes of chocolate, forest floor, and leather.
Our Lakeview Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon is only done in the best vintages, and is a true show-stopper. We are currently one our 2017, which still has some youthful tannins that beautifully coat your palate, with intense notes of plum, blackberries, and leather. This is a wine to buy several, some to drink now, and some to slowly open up over the years to see how the wine develops further in bottle.
When talking about Cabernet Sauvignon, you can't forget about Icewine. Cabernet Sauvignon Icewine is seldom seen, but boy is it delicious. Our Lakeview Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Icewine is an amazing example of what Cabernet Sauvignon can be as an Icewine. Lusciously sweet with bright notes of sweet cherries, raspberry jam, and exotic spices, the wine is true harmony between sweet and spice. Perfect on its own or paired with dark chocolate or cheesecake.
While many are familiar with California Cabernet, go out and find some delicious Cabernet Sauvignon from Ontario and you may just find your new favourite.