At 14 years of age this beauty is showing well in the glass. Dark purple, opaque and leggy. The cork was very soft so I had to pressurize it out, the corkscrew was going to crumble it otherwise. On the nose I get blackberries, cigar box, plum and black licorice. The initial palate is stunning- blue and blackberry ganache, cassis, leather, cedar and oregano. Sublime tannins are ever present but very integrated. The mid palate picks up some lapsang souchong tea, espresso and mocha. The finish is finely balanced between the great tannins and a beautiful acidity that makes my jaw water on the long finish. This is a sublime wine that has mellowed and matured to a great pinnacle. Drink this wine by itself or pair it with char-grilled steaks and garlic mash. 95 points and 4 stars for this $140 blend of Cab Sav, Carmenere, Cab Franc and Merlot. Drink till 2025. Salut….
From the Santa Cruz mountains comes this little gem. You know I like the varietal and I am also a big fan of this AVA, where the cooler climate refines the wines into ‘my style’ but not stripping the Cabernet Franc of its character. Layered with black berry and plum flavors, it offers up good tannins and balanced acidity. At 5 years of age, it is drinking on point and still has another 5 to run. We drank it with an Italian meal of spicy shrimp and red sauce, allowing the boldness of the wine to offset the acidity of the tomato based sauce. It worked a charm and I highly recommend it! I think this is a good wine worthy of 90 points and at $25 it gets 4 stars.
A Reserve Cabernet Franc from Canada given to me by my cousin. Not wanting to “look the gift-horse in the mouth”, I can’t help it. I love Cab Franc and look forward to tasting as much of it as possible. This bottle had little to offer in the Franc arena, very light, with little nose and no backbone. I was wondering what their regular bottling was like, cause this one gets 2 stars and 83 points. Sorry guys, there is nothing interesting here, no mid-palate, little acidity, where did the tannins go? It’s only 5 years old, reserve’s are supposedly the best you have to offer and Franc is known to have some stuffing. Major pass…. Sorry cuz.
Every once in a while you have to splurge. I mean go large in a big, big way. Hence this post.
In April we took the kids to Hilton Head for spring break, and stayed with our best friends. Coincidentally, it was my birthday. So, Moxie- being the all-around great gal that she is, made reservations at Red Fish restaurant. Turns out, they have a wine shop too. You can either order your wine off the menu, or browse their excellent shop and they simply charge you corkage! I was torn between several outstanding Pinots, a Bordeaux, or the chance of a lifetime- Marchesi Antinori’s Tignanello 2006. Rated an average of 93 points by the pro’s, I couldn’t resist. A blend of 85% Sangiovese, 10% Cab Sav and 5% Cab Franc (You know how much I like the Franc) this beauty is a monster. Can you say TANNIC? The peeps say to drink from 2012-2024, no doubt. So, I committed wine-infanticide and took the plunge. My buddy, Uncle T and I relished this wine and found it to be really complex, with depth and breadth. The wine is fantastic, with ample fruit, body, tannins and the ability to age for a long, long time. I would further the drinking window and say to cellar until at least 2016- patience will reward you well. A five star wine that I would potentially rate 94 points, you need one or two in the cellar.
PS. I didn’t have to go too large as the folks at Red Fish know how to price wines and don’t stick it to the man, ensuring that their clientele will be back time and again. Well done you guys…. Oh, and the food was awesome!
Virginia does two wines- Viogner and Cabernet Franc. The rest is just useless IMHO. So, Moxie and I went to one of those way over-priced steak houses last night. After a quick perusal of the offerings, I could feel my wallet cringe(that’s a lie, as I had a $100 gift card from winning a closest to the pin golf tournament). Anyway, I digress. The wine list was mediocre at best, no classed growth, very slim in Burgundy and the few token Cali Cabs that every single “upscale” steak joint carries- get original people. So, having had the Barbourseville previously, and thoroughly enjoying it, I ordered the 2008. A surefire winner, honestly, a 91 point, 5 star wine. My local wine shop turns this one for $21, the “Grille” charged me $60.
Cab Franc has quickly become one of my favorite varietals. It offers tannins ala Cab Sav, smoothness ala Merlot and mixes fruit and backbone to merit cellaring. Most of the time it is used disproportionately in a Bordeaux style blend, not as the star performer. Many people don’t like the tannic structure and can’t wait for it to emerge. Take advice, look for this bottle and cellar a few- rewarding. Meanwhile, I still have some left over for tonight.