Merlot Cabernet Franc 2016

Vineyard: Rosehall Run
Region: Ontario

Tasting Notes 

This succulent red delivers flavours of wild berries, cherries and vanilla with a hint of oak.


Cabernet Franc is the parent grape of both Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. A complex red, resulting in aromas of raspberry, bramble, and bell pepper (pyrazines). Merlot, which means ‘the little black bird’, is a Bordeaux grape variety, known for being approachable as well as being able to develop with age.


Nestled on a peninsula on the north shore of Lake Ontario, a short drive from Kingston, the Prince Edward County wine region sits on a bed of porous limestone. This is crucial for creating the mineral, brightly acidic wines the region is known for. The vineyards benefit from breezes off of Lake Ontario, keeping the temperature down on hot summer days and cool at night. “The County” was first settled in the late 18th Century and, after years of farmland agriculture, began growing grapes in earnest by the early 2000s.


The grapes for this blend were all sourced from a single vineyard in the Twenty Mile Bench region of Niagara. The Cabernet Franc and Merlot vines are over 25 years old.


The Cabernet Franc and Merlot were aged separately in French oak for 14 months. The final blend (60% Merlot, 40% Cab Franc) was bottled unfined and with very minimal filtration.

Cellar Profile

Dan Sullivan of Rosehall Run has succeeded at crafting elegant PEC wines for over 20 years, focusing on highlighting the specific terroir of the County and creating some of the best examples of cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the world. Dan received the “Best Red Wine in Ontario” medal at the 2020 Ontario Wine Awards for his signature JCR Pinot Noir 2018. Sitting on the “Hungry Point” isthmus, surrounded by Lake Ontario on 3 sides, the vines dig deeply into the rocky, calcareous limestone soil. The long sunny days and cool evenings of the region, along with the high acid levels and low pH of the estate soils, ensure Rosehall wines are never lacking in freshness and structure. It is this kind of nervy tension that allows for the production of sublime sparkling wines, both traditional method as well as tank-fermented sparklers, including the exceedingly popular “Pixie” brand. The key to Rosehall’s success is its attention to detail in the vineyard. Sullivan believes that he simply bottles what the vineyard gives him. Yields are infinitesimally small compared to other wine regions, made smaller still by careful selection. Grapes are harvested at full phenolic ripeness, made difficult by the sometimes slow ripening and by the inherent climactic dangers of long hang times.

Wine Type: Red

Variety: Cabernet Franc, Merlot

Classification: VQA

Appellation: Ontario

Farming Practice: Sustainable

Alcohol: 13%

Malolactic: Yes

Bottle Size: 750 ml

Other Practices: Sustainable, Vegan