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We Tea-ed the Wine – Cabernet Franc

Tea infused Wine 3.0 – What do you do when CB hits? Experiment with tea and wine!
We picked out a lighter bodied red this week- AI GALLI’s Cabernet Franc.

Right out of the hills of Pramaggiore from Sylvoz cane pruned vines typical of the Veneto region. Fermentation takes place on the skins in steel vats for 8-10 days at a controlled temperature of 24-26°C. Yeast are carefully selected to help develop the profile of Cabernet Franc. Intensely vinous scent with the herbaceous hint typical of the variety as a result the flavor is lean and vibrant with pleasant fruity hints on a velvety tannin structure

As for the infusees, we looked no further than Gryphon’s Tea! Fruit Symphony, Violeto and Sangria(yes they have a tea named Sangria!).

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First up was ‘Fruit Symphony‘. Made of apples, oranges, Rosehips, Verbena, Marigold and Peaches! You have the sweetness of apples and peaches, then the zest of oranges before finally rounding off with a refreshing lift of herbaceous notes.

This combination definitely brought brought the fruitiness of the tea into the wine. Ai Galli’s Cabernet Franc presents notes of red berries but leans towards a slight herbaceous-spice and mineral finish. With the combination of this mix of rosehips, peaches and verbena, the wine presents stronger notes of fruit but with its spice finish still intact.

Despite this, we recommend ‘Fruit Symphony’  may be better off infused with a white. On the nose it smelled ‘perfumy’ & the base ingredients of oranges, peaches and apples may match better with New World Sauvignon Blanc, or a Pinot Grigio.

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Next up was ‘Violeto‘ – black tea with violets. Sexy and sweet come in many forms. Some think lacey lingerie, some think feather pillows, some think manly cologne. We think an intense black tea with rich and luscious wild violets. This one’s a soul-soother.

Violeto smells wonderful on its own. Slight black currant-y with prominent notes of black tea. The combination however, was a little overpowering. On the nose, notes were soley from ‘Violeto’. If anything, we would take out some tea leaves and leave the violets in .

The moment we’ve all been low-key waiting for… ‘Sangria‘! If you’ve always wanted to have the best of summer and spring, you now can. The sweet pleasure of florals and the tangy satisfaction of fruits are all you’ll need to scream summertime. For a little bit more fun, jazz it up with chopped fruits or sprinkle some rose petals because hey, don’t we all love pretty things?

With  ingredients of apples, oranges, elderberries, Bourbon vanilla and rosehips – this tops the list as our favourite Wine-Tea infusion! Despite having almost the same ingredients as ‘Fruit Symphony’ the bourbon vanilla and elderberries make all the difference in this blend. 

The 2 different ingredients mutes a tad of the oranges and rosehips. Instead a more pronounced elderberry note is thrown into the mix.  On the nose, a tinge of Bourbon vanilla is present, yet remains the cab franc’s herbaceous base. On the palate, red berries  are present with an elevation of creamy note to the combination. Velvety tannins still remain with a slight spice finish.

Our thoughts.

All in all it was a pretty good session. We would recommend to go with fruit/flower based teas if you’re unsure of the amount to infuse with.  For black or red tea infusions (darker teas) we would recommend to remove some tea leaves and leave the remaining flower or fruit accompaniment left for the infusion. Do leave your comments below if you’ve dared to step out of your comfort zone and gave a go with your teas!


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Silver Heights

Gao Lin, the patriarch of Silver Heights started planting Cabernet Sauvignon vines sourced from France in 1999 and conviced his daughter to enroll in a Masters of Oenology program in Bordeaux. Even though she was trained in Bordeaux, New Wolrd techniques are embraced during the winemaking process.

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