By Lenn Thompson, Editor-in-Chief


Why do I taste wines over the course of at least two days before giving final ratings? Wines like this. That why.

When I first opened and poured this 2007 Estate Cabernet Franc from Rooster Hill Vineyards on the east side of Keuka Lake in the Finger Lakes region, it was dominated by campfire and mesquite aromas and flavors. I didn't like it very much and I was cursing American oak yet again.

I wrote my notes out anyway, and searched for fruit and non-oak attributes, finding some buried behind the bacon.

The next day, this was like a completely different wine. Night and day.

Sure, there was still some smokiness, but instead of dominating, it complemented blackberry, black cherry, brown sugar spice and licorice on the nose, adding a layer of complexity instead of beating the other aromas into submission.

The palate was soft, with plum and black cherry flavors hints of vanilla and smoke and an intense vein of black licorice that runs from start to finish.

The tannins are soft and ripe, bringing just enough structure, and the finish lingers nicely with vanilla spice and more licorice.

Anyone who thinks they can review a wine in 30 seconds just isn't doing the wines or his or her readers justice. Wines like this are why I take my time with wines, trying to understand them a bit more fully before assigning a score or writing a review.

Producer: Rooster Hill Vineyards
AVA: Finger Lakes
ABV: 12.9%
Price: $20*

Cases Produced: 160

Rating: 30 (3 out of 5 | Recommended)  
(Ratings Guide)