Church & State Wines Cabernet Franc and Merlot 2017 for the Fall

Autumn leaves
Autumn leaves
It’s Fall now.  We can’t hide from it, so time to embrace it with red wines.  I’m tasting Church & State Wines, Cabernet Franc and Merlot 2017, with the grapes coming from the Okanagan Valley.  2017 had a hot summer with smoke from forest fires starting in July.  Fortunately the smoke did not affect the grapes as it was early in the growing season, but the smoke did dampen sunlight and helped to temper the heat through the growing season, allowing the grapes to ripen better than average.  One winemaker I spoke to about the 2017 vintage said that this could be their best year yet for red wines.  Let me tell you about the two red wines I tasted from Church & State Wines.

My Tasting Notes 

Church & State Wines Cabernet Franc 2017 (BC $36.79) – This wine is an opaque garnet + ruby in colour; almost opaque to the rim.  It has a light intensity nose with aromas of capsicum, sweet spices and black cherries.  With decanting you can add a nice milk chocolate note to the nose. It is slightly off-dry, is very smooth, has lower acidity and very light fine tannins.  Above average body and intensity of flavours.  A mix of red and black fruits, ripe black cherries, and touches of cocoa, sweet spices and floral perfume.  With decanting the milk chocolate note is added as well as some capsicum and candied cherry flavours.  The tannins get stronger and drier toward the finish.  A medium length finishing with light fruit flavours, black cherries, and puckering dry tannins. The tannins soften nicely with decanting.
Rating: 4.5 stars with decanting.  A subtle Cabernet Franc with light capsicum, sweet spices, and black cherry aromas.  It is very smooth with lower acidity and fine light tannins. Mainly ripe cherries, black fruit and a touch of cocoa on the palate.
Church & State Wines Merlot 2017 (BC $36.79) – This wine is also almost opaque to the rim, like the Cab Franc.  Garnet colour as well.  It has a medium minus intensity nose showing black berries, sweet ripe black cherries, light touches of toastiness, oak and sweet spices.  With decanting you can add a touch of cedar and candied cherries aromas. This wine is dry, round, soft and quite smooth.  Medium mouth feel.  You get flavours of black cherries, black berries, red plums, and touches of tarriness, floral, sweet spices and oak.  The oak comes in on the mid palate and continues to the finish.  The mouth feel is thicker with decanting, and you get a touch of cedar and candied cherries added on the palate. It has a medium plus length finishing with black berry and cherry flavours, light pepperiness / hotness and medium intensity tannins.  I should mention that this wine has 15% alc which is why I picked up some hotness on the finish.
Rating: 4 stars4.5 stars with decanting. A medium bodied round wine with a mix of blackberries and cherries on the nose and palate.  Smooth with a touch of oak that gets stronger toward the finish.
Church & State Wines Cabernet Franc and Merlot 2017 with wines in glasses
Church & State Wines Cabernet Franc and Merlot 2017 with wines in glasses

I can imagine enjoying either of these wines with a rich stew.

Where Can I Buy These Wines?

You can purchase Church & State Wines via their website store.  Swirl Wine store carries a wide selection of their wines.  

The following larger chains and some gov liquor stores carry Church & State Wines:

  • Save on foods/Wines of BC   (only those who have wine)
  • Loblaws/Real Canadian Superstores (only those who have wine)
  • Liquor for Less
  • Liquor Depot/Liquor Barns
  • Everything Wine
  • Cascadia
  • Liquor Plus
  • Jak’s
  • Viti

There are other smaller private wine shops carrying these wines but you have to ask.

Author: mywinepal
Drink Good Wine. That is my motto and I really want to help you drink good wine. What is good wine? That can be a different thing for each people. Food also loves wine so I also cover food and wine pairings, restaurant reviews, and world travel. Enjoy life with me. MyWinePal was started by Karl Kliparchuk, WSET. I spent many years with the South World Wine Society as the President and then cellar master. I love to travel around the world, visiting wine regions and sharing my passion for food & wine with you. Come live vicariously through me, and enjoy all my recommended wines.