Expect the unexpected. That is a good motto when you taste wine. You don’t know sometimes if a wine will be OK to drink or if it will be exceptional, at any price point. Today I opened two bottles from Gold Hill Winery. One is their Cabernet Franc 2016 and the other is the Cabernet Franc Rosé 2020. These wines are delicious, and I can’t wait to tell you about them. Cabernet Franc is one of the red grape varieties that I think the BC Okanagan Valley does very well. Both for a red wine and as a Rosé wine. One of my favourite Rosé wines in the past was by Tinhorn Creek, made with Cabernet Franc grapes. I think they may have been one of the first wineries in BC to make a Cab Franc Rosé wine, and now more wineries have followed up. Case in point, Gold Hill Winery.
My Wine Tasting Notes
Gold Hill Cabernet Franc Rosé 2020 (Sold out at winery)
Appearance: Bright orangy copper colour.
Nose: Medium intensity fresh sweet strawberries mainly, with a touch of other red fruits. You still get strawberries primarily with decanting, but you also pick up rhubarb and orange aromas. Nice.
Palate: Dryish, but very round and thick mouthfeel. A very silky texture. Lower acidity that picks up on the finish. Again mainly fresh strawberry flavours, with a touch of other red fruits, then some pepperiness that starts on the mid-palate and gets stronger toward the finish. Some herbaceousness with air. This wine has a lighter mouthfeel with decanting. Still soft and round with primarily strawberries on the palate and some pepperiness.
Finish: A medium-plus length with strawberries and other sweet red fruits, light pepperiness, and light tannins.
No decanting is necessary.
Rating: An uncomplicated but very delicious wine. Fresh strawberries on the nose and the palate. Very round and silky texture. Pepperiness toward the finish and some light tannins. Add some rhubarb and orange aromas with a decant.
Gold Hill Cabernet Franc 2016 (BC $40.99 for the 2015 vintage)
Appearance: A deep, 85% opaque dull garnet in the glass.
Nose: A medium-plus intensity nose with enticing aromas! Red and black fruit, cedar and sweet spices, cassis and plums. A touch of leather, nutmeg and dark chocolate. With decanting there is less red fruit and no leather aromas, but the other aromas persist and are very enticing.
Palate: Dry, medium body, semi-round with light acidity and silky mouthfeel. Fine tannins to start that firm up toward the finish. Dark fruits, plums, and touches of sweet spices, smokiness, dark chocolate, capsicum, and cedar flavours. There is capsicum and cedar flavours with decanting, no smokiness and some cocoa. I still get the medium body and fruit flavours.
Finish: A medium-plus length finishing with ripe black cherries and other juicy black fruits, and a touch of black pepper. Firmer tannins.
I did taste this wine in December 2020 and gave it the same star rating. I am consistent in my scoring. No need to decant this wine, but if you do the wine is still very enjoyable.
Rating: – Enticing aromas of red and black fruits, cedar and sweet spice aromas upon opening. Dry, medium body with a silky mouthfeel. Dark fruits, sweet spices and touches of cedar and smokiness. Tannins firmer on the finish.
Where Can I Buy These Wines?
The 2020 Rosé is sold out at the winery, but you may be able to find it at a local wine shop. The 2015 vintage of the Cabernet Franc is available, and as soon as these wines are sold, the 2016 should be available. I did review the 2015 Cabernet Franc and gave it . Keep checking the Gold Hill website. I did check Swirl and Everything Wine, but neither wine is listed.