Suggested wine pairings rarely match with real family dinner favourites like Dad’s spicy Italian pasta sauce, Five Alarm chilli or Friday night pepper steak and chips. Connoisseurs’ favourites like Pinot Noir or Gamay can be overwhelmed by heavy spices, strong sauces, salt and oil. Over Valentine’s weekend, I discovered a gutsy wine that is up to the challenge. It’s my choice for 2014 Wine of the Week #8.
The wine: Bergeron Estate Cabernet Franc 2009 $21.95
Aged in French Oak for 16 months, rich flavours of blackberries, black cherry, raspberries, sloes, pepper and spicy tobacco with a dry finish. At five years old, this wine is at its peak.
The winery: Bergeron Estate Winery
Located on highway 33, near Adolphustown, Bergeron Estates was purchased in 2002 by brothers Ted and Dave Bergeron and opened in 2007. It has been expanding ever since. The tasting room has a lovely adjoining sun room and wide wrap around veranda with a view down to Adolphus Reach. It serves gourmet pizzas made by Nonna, Dave’s Italian mother-in-law, most weekends year-round and sells a selection of Estate wines and its Cole Point Cider.
The winemaker: David Bergeron has been learning on the job like many County winemakers. For his first two vintages in 2006 and 2007, Dan Sullivan of Rosehall Run was hired as the winemaker, while he trained at his side. Dave has attended winemaking forums at Brock University and in Prince Edward County and has completed a sommelier certification program from Algonquin. Two years ago, he bought out his brother’s share and now he and his wife are sole owners.
Accolades: A picture is worth 1000 words and artist Heather Haynes tried to visually express her sense of the taste of the wine on the label. Cool nights, red leaves, black fruit, springing from a peppery soil, rich with life blood of the United Empire Loyalists who first settled here
Why I chose this wine: We attended a winemaker’s dinner at Bergeron Estates over Valentine’s weekend. We enjoyed a lovely gently oaked Pinot Noir with chocolate covered strawberries to start followed by a Vidal Riesling blend with squash soup. For the main course, we had gourmet pizza, mine was paired with a flavourful Gamay, Colin’s prosciutto pizza in tomato sauce was paired with the 2009 Cabernet Franc. The dessert was apple pie paired with a unique late harvest dry Gewürztraminer. All good wines, but the Cabernet Franc was the stand out wine of the night.
Two bottles came home with us and seemed to whisper as we left, “Forget the diet, we’re ready for steak and chips!” They didn’t lie, they held their own offsetting tenderloins in rubbed with Montreal steak spice served with home fries lavished with salt and malt vinegar.
The winemaker dinners were so successful, Dave is planning repeats for every Saturday and Sunday of March. Price $44.95 (about $20 less for the DD) with a menu of antipasto, fresh pasta, gourmet pizza and tiramisu with four wine pairings.
There’s only 16 cases of the Cabernet Franc 2009 left, so purchasing info is not on the website but email or call David at the winery and he’ll make the arrangements.
This is my last week for the Wine Infused Chocolate draw. All subscribers to this blog will be entered into a draw at the end of February for a selection of wine infused chocolate. It’s not too late to sign up and follow this blog to enter the draw.
I have written about Bergeron Estates several times over the last four years.
He’s come a long way from my first visit in 2010
It’s about Winemaking not Money making written for examiner.com
The Heather Haynes paintings are explained further in a second examiner.com blog
What is the taste of this wine?
And a check in at Terroir last spring from my wine tourist blog on this site.
County Terroir 2013 Let the Wine Flow