This Cab Franc is reddish purple and nearly see through in the glass with some nice legs draping the edges. On the nose I get a dark, brooding blackberry and smoky oak. The palate is delicious, tannic and intriguing. Black currants, black berry and violets interlaced with gum searing tannins and a modicum of acidity. If I had a Ribeye in front of me, heaven. The mid palate is bone dry yet there is a core of fruit pushing through to the back end alongside some cigar box and black tea flavors. The finish is very dry with those tannins holding on to the end. Black fruit, spice box and a plummy ending make this a memorable wine, if not a touch young. I am excited for wines from Lodi, they have made great strides in quality and this is a good example. If you like ’em dry, pour this baby now, or else let it sit until 2023. Drink till 2028. 89 points and 5 stars, I paid $10- stunning wine for the price. Salut….
The third Magnum of my Barboursville vertical was well worth the wait. After breaking the wet cork the bottom half fell into the bottle, that was the only negative. In the glass this 10 year old showed bits of floating cork, semi opaque red to dark red color. On the nose- tobacco, leather, ripe plum, licorice and a whiff of alcohol. On the palate it gives off a mature palate of secondary flavors already mentioned, some well integrated tannins, cassis and dark blueberry compote. Delicious, aged correctly and offering a mix of fruit and tertiary flavors. There is a nice acidity, not overbearing but just ever so present on the long finish. Nice mouthfeel, good structure and juicy fruitiness makes this a 91 point wine. Available at the winery for $180 in large format, it has paid dividends. 5 stars for yet another example of great Virginian Cabernet Franc. Drink till 2025. Salut….
Stunning purple in the glass with nice thin legs. On the nose I get a huge dose of black currants, black berries and oaky vanilla. Mint also makes an appearance. On the initial palate it is really juicy with black fruits galore. Beautiful oak is well integrated with coconut flavors present. The tannic structure shows a gradual ramp up to reach a drying peak on the finish. The mid palate is lush and fruity with some black tea, cassis, more coconut and capsicum. The finish is dry with those nice tannins really gripping. There’s a very balancing, juicy acidity that I’m really enjoying. This wine begs to be drunk, it is a stunning example of how delicious Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot are as the prime components in wine. 93 points and 5 stars for this $104 stunner. Drink till 2030.
I was impressed with the Garzon Tannat so I am hoping for equal results with this Cabernet Franc. It’s very dark in the glass, lovely rich color. The nose is very fruity with black berries, boysenberry and rich oak. The palate is very appealing, light in a spright kind of way but thick with flavor. Black fruits dominate with violets and a mint component thrown in for good measure. This wine is very easy on the palate, with lithe tannins and a juicy acidity. The mid palate continues the blackberry theme but in a more restrained way. It’s not jammy or full throttle. Very seductive, as I like in Cab Franc. The finish is decent in length and shows off some oak with the black fruit. It fades within 20 seconds and leaves me wanting another sip. Overall this is a good wine, but not up to the standard of the Tannat. 90 points and 5 stars for this $15 wine. Salut….
Bright purple in the glass with long legs. On the nose it’s somewhat muted, but with a good swirl I am able to coax blackberry, vanilla bean and charred oak. On the palate it’s very inviting with black fruits, violets, licorice and crisp tannins. The mid palate is quite tart with sour black cherry and more blackberries. Towards the finish this wine gets more and more dry. The teeth and gums are coated with black and Lapsang Souchong teas, astringent yet tasty with a slight smoke note. It’s a very tasty wine that needs a few years in cellar. 90 points and 4 starts for this $17 Cab France. Salut….
In Magnum, I was hoping for a repeat of last years tasting of the 2008 Cab Franc. Dark purple, medium opacity. Nose is exquisite- plum reduction, oaky warmth, tobacco and leather. On the palate it shows purple framboise, some cassis, more tobacco and that delicious tertiary note of leather. The midpalate has a touch of tart cranberry compote alongside the flavors already noted. The finish is medium length, fresh and a touch tannic. This wine is at peak now. Drink till 2023. 91 points and 4 stars. Available from the winery as part of their library collection for $180, or $60 for a regular 750 mill- wow. Salut….
It’s been a while since I drank some of this old perennial favorite. This vintage shows dark purple in the glass. On the nose- charcoal, blackberry and fig. The palate is very pleasant and easy drinking. There are blackberry notes, tar, wintergreen and crunchy tannins. They dry the gums immediately but not excessively. The mid palate is much the same, black fruits abound. The tannins really go the distance and lead me to the finish of blackberry pie meets a slate. There is quite a bit of minerality alongside the tannic thrust. The wine is well balanced and well made. There’s a reason I drank a crapload of it in the early days, it offers good value for money. Drink till 2025 with a nice NY Strip and creamed spinach. I’m going 88 points and 5 stars for $9. Salut….
Very dark purple in the glass. Bramble, creosote, black berries and blueberry jam on the nose. On the palate this is a tannic beast- full of dark fruits, young and brooding. It is laced with blackberries, toasty oak and mouth coating tannins. The midpalate has some telltale violets- the varietal shines thru. On the finish this wine offers black berries, more charred wood notes and those really grippy tannins. A touch young- it needs aerating or cellaring. Drink till 2027 with braised lamb, Moussaka or a thick steak. 91 points and 4 stars for this $40 Cab Franc. Salut….
What a way to ring in the New Year- this is a beauty that I opened from Magnum. I’m a huge fan of this wine and bought a three year vertical from the Barboursville winery years ago when I visited. I also drank it in regular size offerings on more than one occasion, writing about the 08 Cab Franc back in 2011.
Dark purple in the glass and still showing signs of youth. On the nose I get black currants, rich plum compote, a touch of oak and some Ribena. On the palate it is gorgeous. Black fruits galore, iodine, super smooth tannins and lithe acidity. The mid palate has notes of Kirsch, blackberry reduction. The finish is just a great tapering of the whole package- black fruits, gentle tannins, round acidity all ending up with a nice, balanced mouthfeel. 92 points and 4 stars as the wine is no longer readily available in regular format, $180 buys you a Magnum though. Drink till 2024 with all kinds of meat, think Filet, perhaps Moussaka and of course Pasta. I look forward to the next two bottles in the vertical. I am also thinking of buying newer vintages for the cellar, this one obviously did well in its evolution. Salut….
Very dark in the glass, somewhat murky. The nose is lush with plums, eucalyptus, bramble and fir tree. On the palate it echoes the flavors with delicious purple plum paste and fresh earthy herbs. A green note pops up on the mid palate which gives a bit of pique. The tannins are well integrated and the acidity shines through at the end. Green bitterness hits right on the back end which detracted me for a sec. I love the blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (84%) with the rest equal parts Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The greenness I’m guessing is from the Verdot. Overall a very delicious, layered wine that drinks well now through 2022. 90 points and 4 stars for this $40 effort. Salut….