Brys Estate Cabernet Franc Old Mission Peninsula 2010, $35: Cabernet Franc is typically a blending grap in a Bordeaux-style blend. It deepens the color, broadens and softens the palate, adds to the layers of flavor. Occasionally in California and more often in states like Michigan, New York and Virginia, you find single varietals and it’s easy to get hooked. This one is stunning, off a very good vintage. It’s nicely balanced with bold, ripe fruit, acidity and supple tannins. It’s packed with blackberries, blueberries, and dark plums framed with dried cranberry and herbaceous notes that are typical of Cab Franc. It’s the sweet fruit on the midpalate that grabs you. It’s not green and stemmy. These grapes were ripe. The wine was aged in French barrels to add to the flavor and mouthfeel. Get to know Cabernet Franc. I was talking to winemaker Mario Monticelli of Trinchero Napa Valley about Cab Francs on his visit to Detroit recently. He loves the wine too, and makes a powerful one — available only at the tasting room and through the wine club. Good single varietals are a treat.
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