Lailey Vineyard is one of these newish premium small Ontario VQA wineries, that typically make small batches of wine that never make it into the LCBO, and fetch a premium price-wise as well. We’ve bought and uncorked a few bottles from them and have often been a bit ambivalent about the product–not always competitive at the price they’re asking.
Anyway we have now found a wine that made us think, yeah, that was worth the money. Oddly enough it’s a red from a really bad year for Ontario reds–2003 Cabernet Franc at (gasp!) $28.95. (I don’t think I would have opened it if I’d remembered how much we’d paid for it…)
This is one of these wines that is gradually converting me to the view that (1) Cabernet Franc is really the ideal Bordeaux grape for Ontario (not controversial) and (2) I actually like Ontario Cabernet Franc. No one would accuse this wine of being overripe. But it all comes together: smoky, sour cherry/raspberry, tarry/briney, light oak/toast, a bit of spice, a bit of greenness but not unpleasantly so. Nice palate too; it has “stuffing.” We liked it better than the 2002 blended Cabernet Merlot, which comes from a much better year. I’ll be looking out for later vintages.
(Edit: “not unpleasantly so” was originally missing the “not”.)