Tag-Archive for ◊ Cabernet Franc ◊

11 Feb 2009 2005 Benegas Lynch, Libertad Vineyards, Cabernet Franc, Mendoza
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The wine is priced at 140 pesos at the winery.  The  100+ year old vines are located by the Mendoza River on estate vineyards.

Appearance: clear, deep ruby with slight brick core -> ruby rim

Nose: medium intensity with aromas of floral, sweet floral, orange blossom, red cherry, kirsch

Palate: high acidity; medium- fine grained tannins; medium+ length, medium- body; pronounced intensity; flavors of cherry(red and black), orange blossom, hint of marmalade, violets; medium alcohol.

Quality: Excellent; drink well now but could hold for 5 to 7 years.  The orange blossom and hint of marmalade is reminiscent of a Rutherglen Muscat which is very surprising but gives a hint of sweetness that surprisely combines very well with the other aromas and flavors.  

Jen and I purchased of bottle of this to have that evening with dinner.  The wine was tremendous!  I wish we had sent some home.

11 Feb 2009 2007 Carmela Benegas, Rose (Cabernet Franc / Malbec)
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The wine is priced 31 pesos.  It is a rose of Cabernett Franc and Malbec.

Appearance: bright, pink/salmon core -> water white rim

Nose: pronounced intensity with aromas of dried strawberry, dried fruit (cranberry?)

Palate: flavors of dried cherry; a bit too sweet for my taste.

11 Feb 2009 2007 Enamore, Allegrini + ReNacer

This wine is priced at $40 USD.  The wine is blend of Malbec (60%), Cabernet Franc (23%), Cabernet Sauvignon (10%), Syrah (4%) and Bonarda (3%).  The grapes were dried and processed in the Amarone style — dried on trays before being crushed and fermented.  The grapes were cold soaked for 10 days at 8 degree celsius and then fermented using native yeast for 90 days in stainless steel tanks at temperatures between 27 and 29 degrees C.  The wine was aged in new French Oak barriques for 12 months.

Appearance: opaque ruby core -> water white rim

Nose: medium intensity with flavors of berry compote, blood plum

Palate: medium+ concentration; medium alcohol; long finish; flavors = berry compote, black berry, plum, slight savory element.  The palate is very dense, balanced from start to finish. 

Quality: This is a very good wine and well worth seeking out.  The wine will hold for many years and develop more complexity in the bottle.

02 Dec 2008 2006 Domaine Bernard Baudry, Chinon AOC

Appearance: Clear, deep Ruby and black core transitioning to a medium Ruby rim

Nose: Clean, medium plus intensity with the following aromas: savory (hint of volalite acidity combined with rhubbarb), cranberry, black currant, earth, rhubbarb, oregano, thyme.

Palate: Sweetness: dry; acidity: high; Intensity: medium+; Alcohol: medium, Tannins: soft medium+ with a hint of greeness, flavors similar to aroma with the addition of cedar / pencil shavings and sour cherry; Length: medium+; Concentration: medium+.

Summary: Good to excellent; Drink now but could age another 2 to 4 years due to the high acidity and medium+ tannins (the fruit will start to drying up in 2 years); Value: mid-priced.

This is a fine example of what Chinon Cabernet Franc can offer you at a reasonable price point.  The wine is very food friendly with ample acidity, fruit and concentration to hold up to the richest sauces.  It was tasted as part of a traditional Thanksgving meal.  The wine paired very well with turkey and a spicy, zinfandel reduction cranberry sauce.

Other reviews:
“90 — On the crisp side, but pure.  There’s good flesh to the black cherry, cassis, tobacco and grilled herb notes.  Has excellent grip on the finish for the vintage.  Drink now through 2011.  1,000 cases imported. – JM, Wine Spectator, April 30, 2008, $19″

02 Dec 2008 Cabernet Franc — the original Cabernet

Cabernet Franc is the original Cabernet varietal.  Cabernet Sauvignon is a cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc.

Cabernet Franc is known for  flavors and aromas of: Raspberries, Blackcurrant leaves, Plum, Vanilla, Tobacco, Cedar, Smokey and Violets.  It can also have a noticably herbaceousness — fresh and dried herbs.  However, if the grapes do not reach full maturity, a strong vegetal quality will be noticed.  The primary growing areas are: in the Loire (Anjou, Saumur, Touraine, Chinon and Bourgueil), Right bank of Bordeaux (St-Emilion, Pomerol and Fronsac), Friuli region of Italy with newer plantings in Canada, Washington, New York state, Australia, Chile, South Africa, California and New Zealand.  Cabernet Franc from Chinon is among some of the best in the world during a good vintage — the weather in the Loire makes vintage quality highly variable from year to year.

In the US, the following producers are considered quite good:

Chateau St. Jean (Sonoma Valley, California), Cougar Crest (Walla Walla), Pride (Sonoma County, California), Reverie (Napa Valley, California), Fielding Hills (Washington), Owen Roe (Yakima Valley, Washington), Foxen (Santa Maria Valley, California), La Jota (Howell Mountain, California), Ehlers Estate (Napa Valley, California), Lang & Reed (Napa Valley, California), Peju (Napa Valley, California) and Justin (Paso Robles).

Cabernet Franc is a very good food wine and a good alternative to Pinot Noir.  Cabernet Franc tends to have quite a bit of acidity and enough tannins to allow the wine to age well and develop additional complexity in bottle.  Cabernet Franc from warm years in the Loire is very highly prized for its longevity and complexity.

At Thanksgiving, we tried the following Cabernet Francs – 2006 Domaine Bernard Baudry, Chinon AOC; 2006 Philippe Alliet, Chinon AOC.  Both of the Cabernet Francs were very good with the turkey and the spicy zinfandel cranberry sauce.  Please see the next post for detailed review of the 2006 Domain Bernard Baudry.

If you enjoy Pinot Noir and/or Cabernet Sauvignon, please give some of the Cabernet Franc a try.  I think you will be surprised how tasting and food-friendly Cabernet Franc can be.

26 Nov 2008 Happy Thanksgiving!
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I want to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!  This year is particularly important to celebrate Thanksgving considering the economic meltdown the US is currently facing; please take time to reflect on your life to think about all the things(e.g. friends, family, employment, safety, opportunities, etc) that you are truely thankful for.  Please take the effort to thank each person in your life you are thankful for.  The upcoming months are going to be trying and hard for some people in your life…maybe yourself, so it is best to let people know you are thankful for them and why you are thankful.

I am lucky enough to have my family over to my house for a traditional Thanksgiving feast.  Thanksgiving has always been a time to celebrate the past year, get caught up with family members and reconnect with distant relatives and friends you have not been able to visit recently.  I do love the tasty food and good wine – stuffing is a whole food group as far as I am concerned.  But, my memories are of the conversations between family members especially between generations in the family.  My Grandfather, Skip (Leon), gave me some of my best memories at the many Thanksgivings that I was lucky enough to have him around.  He made it clear how important family is and how a family treats other members of the family.  It is just one of the many life lessons he passed on to me before he passed away. 

At the Glover family Thanksgiving, we are having a very traditional Thanksgiving meal.  The menu is online if you are curious.  We are going to be having some New Zealand Pinot, my 2007 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir and two Cabernet Francs from the Loire (2006 Domaine Bernard Baudry, Chinon AOC; 2006 Philippe Alliet, Chinon AOC).  I make it a point of trying to get people to try good Cabernet Franc to get them past the generally vegetal Cabernet Franc that gets produced in California.  Honestly, Cabernet Franc can be really fantastic!  If you have an adventuresome group over for Thanksgiving, do a blind tasting of several Cabernet Francs from the Loire.  I think you will be surprised at the response.

Happy Thanksgiving! 

P.S.  I will try to put up tasting notes on the wines we have at Thanksgiving.