Varietal Chambourcin is rare in Ontario - so when this wine caught my eye recently, I knew that I just had to give it a try. Not only is it one of the few examples of this variety in Ontario, but the wine is also organic - always a good thing.
The wine pours with a beautiful, clear dark ruby colour; it is translucent yet has a dark tone all the same. The nose is very light; just some red currant and possibly some light cherry fruit. I pick up no oak on the nose at all; a pity, as I think that this wine would have benefited immensely from some oak aging.
On the entry, the Chambourcin is light and tart with brisk yet well-apportioned acidity. It's quite palate-cleansing, much like its other hybrid cousins (e.g. Baco and Foch - though Baco tends to be quite a bit more tart). The mid-palate is mildly warm (12.4% alc./vol.), acid-driven and cleansing. The finish is light and short.
If you were to compare this to a vinifera wine, Barbera or Chianti would be fair benchmarks.
I do think that this wine would have benefited from 8-10 months of oak contact - even if it meant using oak chips instead of barrels. The oak vanillins would add a welcome extra dimension to the whole package.
Even so, I am delighted to have discovered this wine. It will be on my "watch for" list from now on.
It retails for $14 at the LCBO.