Cabernet Franc with Friends

I was lucky enough to try 8 different bottles of Cabernet Franc at my friend’s Chris and Amy’s house in Albuquerque, New Mexico over Thanksgiving.

We had a great wine tasting crew : 3 very knowledgeable wine aficionados; Amy, Eryka and David M. and 2 winemakers: Chris and  David H.

Since this was a blind tasting, Sully presided over the event while enjoying a Rahr Winter Warmer beer. Just as a side note…Sully doesn’t travel anywhere without his Rahr Beers from Ft. Worth. However, he did agree that Albuquerque has some fantastic breweries and we both recommend checking them out.

A clever and festive idea to hide the wine bottles, is to put them in socks. Amy is a sock designer so we had plenty to choose from. Her company is Sweet Marcel.

Cabernet Franc Info: It is part of the parent grape to Cabernet Sauvignon, but it is less tannic and it has more vegetable and spicy elements. It is one of my faves because it is so food friendly. I love its spicy elegance”.

Here was the line up:

2010 Wolffer Estate, Long Island, NY (The Hampton’s)

2009 Bedell Cellars, Long Island, NY

2009 Palmer Vineyards, Long Island, NY

2009 Milagro Vineyards, New Mexico (David H. is the Assistant Winemaker)

2009 Casa Rondena, New Mexico

2007 Times Ten Cellars. The grapes are from Lake County, CA but processed in Texas

2007 Helios, Corison Winery, Napa, CA

2007 Spring Mountain Vineyards, Napa, CA

Here are some of the impressions/comments about what the group thought of each wine:

Wolffer: Nose & Taste were about equal: bright cherry & cranberry, a little green bell pepper. Light bodied because it is young. I think overall the group thought it needed aging and or lacked depth.

Bedell: Nose: earthy, forest floor, mushroom. Taste: raspberry, figs,strawberry and smooth earthy tannins and a light finish. Overall, the group enjoyed this one.

Palmer: Nose: “big, round & black” Taste: “pop rock in your mouth”. I love comments like this! The nose was bell pepper, truffle, pencil lead. The taste had an acidic fruit bite like strawberries. Overall the group thought it needed aging or decanting. It intrigued me because the nose & taste were total opposite…I liked it.

Milagro: Nose: cherry, mushroom, smoke, dirt. Taste: green tobacco, gravel, earth and white pepper. When I smelled it, I knew immediately that it was from New Mexico. I think it reflected Terrior really well, but it was a bit tannic to me. Overall the group liked it.

Casa Rondena: I’m sorry to say, but the group thought the bottle was corked. “Tannic” and “rough” were the words used.

Times Ten: Nose: green bell pepper, graphite, mushroom. Taste: black cherry, cranberry, light spicy finish but faded fast. Overall, I think we were divided. Some really liked it and others thought it ok. I wished that it had stayed on the palate a little longer.

Corison: Nose: mushroom, sage, strawberry, black cherry, raisins. Taste: Light dark fruit, leather,medium tannins with a soft spicy finish. The words “smooth”, “balanced”, “easy” were used. Overall, this was a favorite.

Spring Mountain: Nose: smoke, chocolate, wet clay, strawberry. Taste: smokey cranberry, rich dark fruit, dry tannins. I thought this was the most fruit forward of all the wines. Overall, the group enjoyed it.

After the tasting, we had the wines (except Casa R.) with our Thanksgiving Feast and I honestly think everyone thought all the wines paired well with everything. At least nobody complained…or maybe we were feeling so festive enjoying the great food, wine/beer and company that nobody care.

Your Twisted & Thankful Sommelier,


P.S. I know I have not posted in a while, but sometimes life gets in the way of Passion….Cheers Y’all for staying with me.


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