If you don't like cabernet franc, you might be reading the wrong blog. And sure, for a long time I didn't have a lot of great things to say about Finger Lakes region reds, but a few have impressed me of late, including this one, Hunt Country Vineyards 2005 Cabernet Franc ($22).
The summer of 2005 brought about great ripeness in vineyards throughout New York and that ripe fruit is on display here. The nose is bright and enticing, mixing strawberry and cherry fruit with black pepper, sweet herbs, and just a little vanilla.
Bing cherry flavors, with more black pepper, and spices, burst on the attack. This is a cab franc with a bit more structure than you might expect, but I like it. This is a wine that will improve with short-term aging (the synthetic cork is the limiting factor here). The herb component from the nose is more subtle on the palate, lingering the background, but peeking through on the medium-length finish.
I'd be curious to have tasted this wine with a little less barrel influence (it spent a year aging in new oak), just to get a truer expression of the fruit, but the oak isn't overwhelming at all. A really nice example of what the Finger Lakes can produce in a warm year.
It's sold out, but I was able to get my hands on some for the New York Cork Club January shipment, which will ship early next week.
Producer: Hunt Country Vineyards
AVA: Finger Lakes
(3 out of 5 | Recommended)