Wolffer Estate's winemaker, Roman Roth, made some delicious and unique wines to commemorate the winery's 20th anniversary, and this wine the Wolffer Estate 2005 "Caya" Cabernet Franc ($40) is one of them (even if I liked the 04 a bit better). The commemorative wines are all named for horses in the Wolffer Stables and this one bears the name of Caya, a 16- year old Hanoverian Warmblood and a Grand Prix winner.

This blend of 86% cabernet franc and 14% merlot shows ripe, intense blackberry and cassis fruit aromas on the nose, which are accented by vanilla, toasty oak and some dried plum layered beneath.

Though perhaps a little less intense than the nose, the medium-bodied palate presents ripe black fruit flavors — blackberry and black raspberry — with a vein of toasty oak running through. There is good structure here with ripe, well-integrated tannins and some acidity (which would make this a good choice with food). There is an earthy, gravelly note that lingers on the long finish.

On day two, a bit of spice started to peek through on both the nose and palate. I think that this wine will improve in bottle for at least 3-5 years.

It doesn't take long to find several different style of cab franc being made on Long Island. This one is true to Wolffer's long-standing style, which is decidedly more Bordeaux than Loire.

Grape(s): 86% cabernet franc, 14% merlot
Wolffer Estate
AVA: The Hamptons, Long Island
Price: $40
Rating:   35
(3.5 out of 5 | Very good-to-Delicious)

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