rjs: Thanks for the tip. I will definitely look into the merlot. I'm not a huge fan, but when it is top shelf, it is wonderful. The '03 Showcase at Hillebrand was stunning at the barrell tasting, but after bottle aging it didn't make it. That was a lot of wine down the drain.

George: They are true varietals. I would say that, with all due respect, cab franc is just now coming into its own in the FL. Long Point (also on Cayuga) made the best I have tasted from the FL so far, with the 04 Knapp bottling a close second. That's FWIW, since I haven't done an exhaustive, structured blind tasting of all of them.

B&D: Cab franc can have a vegetal component that is too prominent or not well integrated. But since you are so close to NOTL area, make a trip to Hillebrand, Peller, Angel's Gate, Stratus and some others. Hillebrand does the best cab franc, IMO, and their Showcase (unfiltered) bottlings can be quite, quite stunning. The 95 was just over the moon for me, and the 98 and 99s perhaps equal. I have a couple of 99s that I will open this winter with a good meal.

JL Groux is the winemaker at Stratus, but formerly of Hillebrand. He is from the Loire valley, was educated and trained in France (both Burgundy and Bordeaux), so he knows a thing or two...

BTW, Angel's Gate has perhaps the most spectacular view from their patio bistro of all the Ontario wineries. Peninsula Ridge (I've not yet visited) is one the same road, along with Thirty Bench. Daniel Lenko is the cult wineries nearby, but sells out quickly every year. Right now the tasting room is closed, but it is quite an experience. Danny's mom greets you and makes apple or pumpkin pie from local fruit. She gives you a piece "After you're done with your tasting!" All take place in the kitchen of the original Lenko home. Sounds weird, but it's a ton of fun.

Earl