Cabernet Franc Icewine 2007, Peller Estates, Niagara, Canada
Nathan and his small team have done it, yet again. They have created a dessert which defies all pre-conception of what a classic Bread & Butter Pudding should be. Meticulous timing and organisation skills are essential to provide our guests the freshest, most delicious food in the country!
Firstly a raspberry brioche is made daily, portioned and dehydrated before soaking it in raspberry custard. This process ensures the perfect texture. Each rectangle of divine brioche is then caramelised to provide that extra crunch and flavour. This is accompanied with fresh raspberries drizzled with delicate syrup, which is balanced by the acidity of homemade raspberry yoghurt.
To accompany this delightful dessert I have paired… a 2007, Cabernet Franc Icewine which is produced by the Peller Estates in Niagara. In 1927, Andrew Peller, originally from Hungary, had an accomplished vision of establishing a family business producing premium wines. However, it was not until 1969 that the opportunity arose to purchase a winery in Ontario. They have been producing award winning wines ever since!
These grapes, left on the vine until December or even as late as February, are hand picked when the temperature drops between -10⁰C and -12⁰C; slightly cooler than the legal minimum limit of -8⁰C. There is a very small time frame of approximately six hours to ensure the grapes get from the vine to the press. This is often accomplished at night in order to keep the grapes frozen.
The length and intensity of this wine is like no other, with highly concentrated flavours of wild strawberries dipped in bitter chocolate, balanced by palate cleansing acidity that leaves a refreshing rose petal finish. Each grape provides just a drop of luscious Icewine, possibly the greatest gift from winter.