By Lenn Thompson, Editor and Publisher

T23_francCabernet franc is a wine that comes in many styles across New York state. One one end of the spectrum, you have winemakers who eschew oak completely. On the other end, you have the winemakers who treat cabernet franc like it's cabernet sauvignon blanc, extending maceration and bludgeoning it with new oak.

I guess what I'm saying is that there isn't a clearly defined New York style cabernet franc yet. Nor is there a distinct style for Long Island, the Finger Lakes, etc. either.

This unoaked rendition, Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars' 2007 T23 Cabernet Franc ($15) makes a strong case for the no-oak style.

The nose is bright with tart cherries blackberries up front and layers of violets, lavender, thyme and subtle earthy spice.

On the palate, it's fresh and light-to-medium bodied with black cherry and blackberry fruit that is slightly juicy. The herb notes carry over, with light tannins and food-friendly acidity giving the wine just enough structure. the finish is medium-short, but features a nice spice note.

For $15, this is the kind of cabernet franc that I'd make my house wine. It should be versatile at the dinner table, and it's a good example of how a wine doesn't need to be big and hulking (or oaked) to be delicious.

Producer: Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars
AVA: Finger Lakes
ABV: 12.4%
Price: $15
(3 out of 5 | Recommended) 
(Ratings Guide)