Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sibling Rivalry

192. 2007 Henry of Pelham Sibling Rivalry (VQA Niagra Peninsula - Ontario)

Henry of Pelham is one of those high-profile Ontario wineries that I've seen a lot in Canadian wine magazines and articles but don't recall seeing for sale out in BC. If it has been stocked, I don't think we've ever actually purchased a bottle.

That changed with this bottle of Sibling Rivalry. Henry of Pelham is a mid-size family estate winery that opened for business in 1988 on lands that had been in the Speck family for generations. The winery is now run by three brothers and this wine is a play on the different energies that the brothers bring to the business - businessman, farmer and salesman. The graphics of rock, paper and scissors on the label are meant to be representative of the different personalities and is said to be - in a tongue-in-cheek tone - the decision making process used to get through some of the more difficult business meetings.

The Sibling Rivalry Red is a Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon blend and is seen as a little less conservative than the wineries more established brand levels. This was a new entry level wine for Henry of Pelham and a great deal of effort was put into the branding and marketing of the wine's release. Google the wine and you see almost as many articles on the product design as you do on the wine itself.

I don't recall seeing Ontario wines (particularly red wines) in our market in the $15 range. However, I've heard on a number of occasions that Ontario could become a world leader in the production of Cab Franc. I didn't see the percentage of the Franc in this wine, but it's nice to be able to try a wine that at least shows a bit of where Ontario reds might move to.

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