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  • Friday, December 8, 2017

Karlo Cabernet Franc 2015 (Ontario) - Wine Review

wine review is this lovely Karlo Estates Cabernet Franc from Prince Edward County that was made by the renowned winemaker Derek Barnett, formerly of Lailey Winery. This Ontario Cab Franc is available at the LCBO and included as part of the VINTAGES Release. It is available only at Flagship Store locations and in very limited quantities. It is also sold out at the winery.

The fascinating history of Karlo Estates begins in the late 1700's, when Peter Van Alstine, a British Loyalist Officer, was given acreage of the land in Prince Edward County by the King of England after the American Civil War. Peter is most famous for building the Glenora Ferry which has been operating now for over 200 years. He was also the first individual to "officially own" the land where Karlo Estates exists today.

In the early 1800's, the land was transferred to the Stevenson family. They built the first homestead on the land, which can still be seen on Danforth Road just east of their carriage house. I was in The County in October, but missed visiting Karlo Estates (didn't have enough time) - but I will be sure to check this out on my next visit to this exciting wine region.

Sherry co-founded the winery with her late husband Richard Karlo after purchasing the property from the Stevenson family in 2005. The property consists of 93 acres, with 14 acres planted to vines beginning in 2006.

The talented Derek Barnett became winemaker at Karlo Estates in 2015. This Cabernet Franc is the first vintage where he had full control - from winegrowing, to harvest, and vinification. He has said this is the best Cabernet Franc he has ever made. I tasted a barrel sample of this lovely wine back in , so I am curious to see how it has developed with a further 8 months under its belt.

Karlo Cabernet Franc 2015 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

KARLO CABERNET FRANC 2015 - VQA Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada (#524389) (XD) - $39.00
Wild fermented with indigenous yeast and aged approximately 15 months in barrel. Vegan certified. Earthy cherry and black plum aromas from the cork. This is a nice, cool-climate Cabernet Franc showing richly dark fruited aromas with lovely cigar box, earth, black plum, and sandalwood aromas with minimal herbally notes of medium+ intensity and opens up quite nicely with air. It's light-to-medium bodied on the palate with vibrant, juicy acids and a touch warming on the mid-palate. Cran-cherry-raspberry flavours mingle with sandalwood, earth, and touches of currant and minerals. Tannins could use another year or so to soften. Nice cigar box and curranty-cherry notes linger on the long finish. I really like the fine cigar box notes found throughout - very compelling! Enjoy over the next 3-4 years. Score: 90 pts


  1. Thank you for your kind review. Can't wait to pour for you when you next visit Prince Edward County. Cheers!

    1. You're welcome, Sherry! Keep up the good work! I'm very much looking forward to having you pour for me - hopefully it doesn't take me another 5 years to get out there. :)


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