Though a bit timid right after pulling the cork, Bedell Cellars 2012 Cabernet Franc ($40), unwinds steadily with aromas of crushed blackberries and currants. If you’ve ever tasted just-picked cabernet franc grapes, there is some of that here too.
On the medium-bodied palate, this fresh, juicy red shows ample strawberry flavors to go with darker fruits like blackberries and black cherries. Though the tannins are soft, there is enough acidity to keep the palate lively.Woodsy spice and subtle grape stem flavors develop on the second day open, adding some complexity.
Long Island needs more cabernet franc in this style — fresh, low alcohol, and drink-now without obtrusive oak. As I tasted it over the course of three days, it reminded me of a Cru Beaujolais at times. It’s over-priced at $40 at the winery, but you can find it for far less at local shops. I got it for less than $30 at Empire State Cellars.