Much of home winemaker-turned-pro Jim Waters’ early commercial success was based on his delicious, well-priced whites—his Riesling and Gewurztraminer in particular.   

Many of Waters’ latest red release, however, have matched—and even surpassed—those early offerings. His limited-production, sometimes-hard-to-get reds are worth seeking out in his storefront tasting room tucked in an industrial park. 

Even previous vintages the Waters Crest Winery Cabernet Franc Private Reserve impressed with their rich fruit and cocoa flavors. But, the 2004 release seems to take it to another level.

Waters Crest Winery 2004 Cabernet Franc Private Reserve
is a ripe, spicy wine that should develop even further in coming months (and years). 

Made with 100% free-run juice and aged for 14 months in new French oak, the blackberry nose is complex with layers of black pepper, violets, smoked meat and dusty dark cocoa. 

Medium bodied, concentrated and a little meaty, the palate offers loads of black fruit and spice as well. Lightly gripping tannins provide just the right structure.

All in all, I’d say this is Jim’s best franc to date.

Grape(s): Cabernet Franc
Producer: Waters Crest Winery
AVA: North Fork of Long Island
Price: $35
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars (Ratings Guide)