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Jenise

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WTN: Boatload of Cab Francs

by Jenise » Tue May 22, 2018 3:22 pm

Dork night, all blind as usual.


NV Cave Maurice Bonnamy Crémant de Loire Brut Cabernet Franc
Fruit from Saumur and Anjou. Very very pale pink, tiny pin-prick bubbles, crisp fruit. Yum. OFS, and outstanding QPR as well.

2011 Domaine Bernard Baudry Chinon Les Grézeaux Cabernet Franc
Tons of sulfur on first opening, but it fades somewhat in the glass. Great blend of juicy, plummy fruit and herbs.

2014 Charles Joguet Chinon Cuvée Terroir Cabernet Franc
Vitamin nose followed by huckleberry and sandalwood. Very complex and yet biggish enough that a show of hands among these Euro-palate tasters indicated most thought it a very European styled Pacific Northwest wine. Not so! Impressive.

2013 Rasa Vineyards Cabernet Franc QED Axiom of Choice Walla Walla Valley

Beautifully balanced, fruit/complexity/acid/tannins--everything just right for a new world CF. Excellent.

2014 Bonair Cabernet Franc Puryear Vineyard Rattlesnake Hills
Major brett on the nose, rustic palate, fades quickly. Junk.

2000 Château Puygueraud Cuvée George Bordeaux Côtes de Francs Red Bordeaux Blend (35% CF)
Tobacco, leather, canned cherries and gun metal--showing well and at peak. Played unexpectedly well off of some pan-seared shisito peppers.

2013 Spring Valley Vineyard Cabernet Franc Katherine Corkrum Walla Walla Valley
Berry fruit, mushrooms, herbs, orange peel and other things. However a brown paper bag note brought disagreement about corked or not. I voted 'not'. Very good.

2004 Robert Sinskey Vineyards Cabernet Franc Vandal Vineyard Carneros
Obviously new world and aged, it's a beautifully integrated wine with notes of celery, oil-cured olive and a luxurious, silky mouthfeel. Wow, another WOTN.

2012 Château de Fosse-Seche Saumur Eolithe Cabernet Franc
Great complexity and mouthfeel with spice, celery, red apple, and flint. Great value at $20 retail. Loved it.

2013 Tero Estates Cabernet Franc Windrow Vineyard Walla Walla Valley
Chocolatey, quite sweet but more like artificial sweetener than real sugar, ripe and goopy, drinks like an Orin Swift wine (yuck).

2013 Chappellet Cabernet Franc Napa Valley
Gotta love Vic for bringing the least expected wine of the night. Big oak nose, blueberry and coffee, fairly concentrated with some extract. 14.9% alcohol, too. Those don't usually add up what I like and expect from CF, but this is Napa CF and a different animal--hard not to be impressed.

2016 Savage Grace Wines Cabernet Franc Copeland Vineyard Rattlesnake Hills
Light bodied with more strange cardboardy vegetal flavors than fruit. And while I realize that Michael's wines usually need more time after release to show well, this bottle seemed to have a problem--will call it flawed.

2015 Whidbey Island Winery Cabernet Franc Yakima Valley
Very little acid. Cocoa and graham crackers for fruit, tannins shut things down. Clunky. A surprise, I'd liked this winery's CF a lot in the past.

2013 Andrew Will Cabernet Franc
Shows more ripe sweetness than complexity, and it lacks brightness/acidity. Might be asleep. Nonetheless, I was disappointed, I quite liked another bottle a year ago.

2016 Walla Walla Vintners Cabernet Franc Columbia Valley
Great new label, big improvement. Fruit forward but sturdy, there's power here in the good new world ripeness. Very enjoyable.

2015 Cave de Saumur Saumur-Champigny Les Vignoles Cabernet Franc
Red roses, strawberry, and enough malo to give it a sweet milkshake finish. Blind, would have guessed this to be domestic.

2012 Olga Raffault Chinon Les Picasses Cabernet Franc
Great nose, highly aromatic and complex, balanced/everything just right, lots of class, my WOTN and probably everybody else's, only flaw a slightly subdued finish but that will fix itself with more bottle age.

2017 Isenhower Cellars Cabernet Franc Rosé Columbia Valley
Red apple skin nose and very simple on the palate. Bland.

2011 Marc Brédif Chinon Cabernet Franc
Lean and leafy--a bit short on fruit. Almost no tannins. Drink up.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Tim York

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Re: WTN: Boatload of Cab Francs

by Tim York » Wed May 23, 2018 6:00 am

Thanks for those notes, Jenise, which give an interesting survey from several regions. Cabernet Franc is one of my favourite grapes, more elegant and fragrant than Cabernet Sauvignon IMO and certainly a better solo player, particularly in the Loire valley. Amongst right-bank Bordeaux I tend to prefer those with a higher proportion of Cabernet Franc.

I'm not so sure about warm climate CabFranc, though. I have enjoyed one from South Africa, Warwick I think, and the Vignamaggio from Tuscany is superb but from a quite high altitude. However, I have not much liked CabFranc from Languedoc nor my only Californian experience, Joseph Swan IIRC.
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David M. Bueker

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Re: WTN: Boatload of Cab Francs

by David M. Bueker » Wed May 23, 2018 8:40 am

Interesting that you note sulfur on the Baudry. I have never experienced that. Reductive notes all the time, but not sulfur.
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Mark S

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Re: WTN: Boatload of Cab Francs

by Mark S » Wed May 23, 2018 9:57 am

Jenise, where are the Finger Lakes cab francs? We have quite a few, you know. It would have been interesting to throw in an Eminence Road to see how your group would respond.
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Jenise

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Re: WTN: Boatload of Cab Francs

by Jenise » Wed May 23, 2018 11:59 am

Mark, unfortunately we never see Finger Lakes wines out here, as you can imagine, with the exception of the night Mel Goldman from Keuka Lake Vineyards was in town selling, so he got invited to join our group. But he was only packing whites that night. I did indeed taste some delish cab francs when visiting the area.

Tim, domestic cab francs are pretty good, but also very different which is why it was notable that some thought the Joguet might be American--typically, one wouldn't mistake one for the other.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Brian K Miller

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Re: WTN: Boatload of Cab Francs

by Brian K Miller » Wed May 23, 2018 1:03 pm

Just tried the Sinskey (current vintage) the other day and was quite impressed. Rich and "Napa", but also elegant.

I have been seriously culling wine clubs this month. Sinskey is definitely the slickest (corporate?) in vibe of my current wine clubs, but the wines (and recipes...and food items) are just so good! :)

Surprised about the Swan aside, I usually like their wines!
...(Humans) are unique in our capacity to construct realities at utter odds with reality. Dogs dream and dolphins imagine, but only humans are deluded. –Jacob Bacharach
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Jenise

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Re: WTN: Boatload of Cab Francs

by Jenise » Wed May 23, 2018 1:28 pm

Sinskey wines are always elegant. Just wish the winery itself was friendlier and had less attitude. Snobbiest Napa tasting room I've ever been to.

And I too was surprised by Tim's comment. Swan of all people--a generally restrained and more European hand on winemaking there.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov

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