I recently stopped into the tasting room at Benmarl Winery and was treated to a vertical tasting of the 2008 and 2009 Frontenac.
If it’s not clear in this picture the 08 is on the left and 09 is on the right. The two wines were very different in character if you can tell from this picture, the 08 a much darker richer in color with the 09 more bright, purple and expressive.
I am not a real fan of Frontenac, but I must say, of the two, I really enjoyed the 2008. One of the reason I personally enjoyed the 08 is it wasn’t as acidic as the 09, it was heavier and bolder. But that is a personal preference of mine, some people do like the more acidic wine.
The 2008 with its rich color had a bouquet of cherry and hint berry jam. It was heavier and bolder than other Frontenac wines I’ve tasted. It had a nice mouth feel with ripe blackberries, fruitiness rounding out to a plumish finish.
The 2009 Frontenac was blended with 20% Hudson Valley Cabernet Franc from Barton Farms. This Frontenac was much lighter in both color and body than the 2008. With a bright purple color this wine was much more acidic with the acid tingling on the side of your tongue. This wine had a bright cherry nose and jammy in flavor with slight spice of the Cabernet Franc on the finish.
Both wines are currently available in the tasting room.