Every time I drink a cabernet franc like this, I wonder how I had never heard of this beautiful, wonderful grape until I moved to Long Island almost a decade ago. To think, I could have been drinking cab franc back in grad school, wen was drinking super-fruity chardonnay and shiraz from Australia.

Oh wait, maybe that's the problem, I was drinking those mass-produced, one-dimensional wines. I probably wouldn't have appreciated cab franc for all of it's non-fruity characteristics.

This Clovis Point Winery 2005 Cabernet Franc ($25) is probably a wine I wouldn't have enjoyed back in my Black Opal and Blue Marlin days, but it's a wine that I impressed me in a blind tasting of local reds a few weeks ago.

While not 100% cabernet franc, it's close, with only 2.5% cabernet sauvignon blended in. Medium ruby red in the glass, sure, there's fruit on the nose, mainly black cherry, but what I like best about this wine are the very aromas I would have hated in grad school — tobacco leaf, savory herbs and Brussels sprouts.

The medium-bodied palate is a bit fruitier than the nose, showing ripe cherry and blackberry. Those herbal flavors are there though, in the background. Gentle, ripe tannins provide just enough structure and the finish is medium-long with a distinct earthy-tobacco note at the end.

This is a cabernet franc-lovers cabernet franc. It wasn't bludgeoned with oak. The non-fruit character wasn't stripped out. They haven't tried to make it something that it's not. I appreciate that.

Grape(s): 97.5% cabernet franc, 2.5% cabernet sauvignon
Producer: Clovis Point
AVA: North Fork of Long Island
Price: $25
Rating: 30
(3 out of 5 | Recommended) 
(Ratings Guide)