This blend of 58% Merlot and 42% Cabernet Franc from “Beau Terroir,” a vineyard in southwest Napa Valley, could easily be confused for a high end Right Bank Bordeaux from an exceptional vintage. It’s that good. All the expected Bordeaux descriptions rattle off my typing fingers: tobacco, black currant, blackberry, pencil shavings, cedar and sandalwood. The fruit is a smidge more pronounced than its old world counterparts because, hey, it’s Napa. Ultimately the vineyard speaks the loudest with its savory, soily, spicy character showing in the wine. Medium bodied, acidity skates about, fine tannins, complementary French oak. As good as […]
58% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Franc, co-ferment, from vineyard in Southwest Napa Valley (edge of Carneros, in fact). An honest-to-goodness Right Bank Bordeaux style, Cave Dog red shows off dark red berry & cherry compote, dry aged beef, soy sauce, lavender, and gently roasted coffee beans. While all the flavors will expand with bottle age, it is still a round, smooth-textured, delicious, gorgeous wine now. Napa winemaker/winery owner veteran Michael Havens launched Cave Dog with his 2014 red wine. There are 3 Cave Dog wines: Spanish white varieties Albariño and Godello and this red. I recommend all three wines whole-heartedly, past […]
100% Cabernet Franc growing in chalk and limestone. Organic farming (certified organic as of 2016). This is the real deal in Loire Valley Cabernet Franc. Smell and taste red currants, pomegranate, ruby red grapefruit, white pepper, blueberry, sage and Oolong tea. Has a healthy core of flavor to support the natural high acidity and firm, fine tannins. The newer appellation Saumur Puy Notre Dame, when grown well, made well and in a very good vintage (check check & check) offers fantastic value. From Importer Skurnik Wines: “Domaine de l’Enchanoir work a remarkable site of largely ancient limestone. 150 meters altitude, […]
Right Bank Bordeaux-style blend of 60% Cabernet Franc & 40% Merlot, all from a single vineyard in the Carneros “Banana Belt.” This is rich, very strong wine showing a lot of old-world personality. Black currants, dried blueberries sun-dried Provence herbs, cigar box and bittersweet chocolate smells and flavors, all framed by 80% new French oak that melts into the wine seamlessly. Medium/full bodied, fine and firm tannins, medium acidity, 25 second finish of soil, spice and fruit (in that order of strength). It’s savory, Bordeaux-ish quality means it is not a wine for the masses. It IS a wine for […]
Fans of light, bright, crisp, green-tinged red Chinon (Cabernet Franc, Loire Valley) will adore this wine oddly named “Dogs-Dogs” in French. Red plums, ripe cranberries and ruby grapefruit merge with dried green peppecorns and cucumbers. For me, this is the perfect wine to drink at a French country bistro with roast chicken or steak hache frites.
Fortunati Fortivo is a Right Bank-style, Estate red is a blend of 80% Cabernet Franc, 15% Merlot, 5% Malbec. A seductive son of a gun, this wine smells and tastes of blackberry jam, plum sauce, cocoa, cinnamon stick and vanilla. It is plush, rich and full-bodied with fine tannins that sweep only the gums. Anyone who tastes this wine with the Luchtels is guaranteed to buy a case. Or more. About Fortunati Gary and Ellen Luchtel planted Fortunati Vineyards in the early 2000s and launched the brand a few years later. Most of their wines are estate fruit from their […]