By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor

Rooster-hill-estate-cabernet-francHonestly, I drink them all year, but with the weather we've been experiencing, we are decidedly in the midst of cabernet franc season at my house.

A combination of the weather cooling and the changing local, seasonal vegetables available have meant more root vegetables, more stews, and more roasts on our dinner table. As a franc fanatic, I often reach for cabernet franc with these foods.

Rooster Hill Vineyards 2009 Cabernet Franc ($25) is a wine made for rich foods, particularly those with bacon or another smokey element.

Red cherries and pomegranate molasses aromas are made more complex by notes of brown spice, milk chocolate and high-toned floral aromas that are almost overwhelmed by smoky, bacon-y notes.

Plump and surprisingly full-bodied, the palate is fruit driven — a melange of red berries — with a smokey hint of bonfire and a subtle meatiness that delivers a certain umami quality. There is more structure here than what is found in many 2009 Finger Lakes reds, and also well-incorporated, slightly tart acidity on a medium-length finish.

I wish the oak were toned down just a bit, but this is still a well-made, concentrated cabernet franc that is deserving of much more attention.

Producer: Rooster Hill Winery
AVA: Finger Lakes
ABV: 12.9%  
Price: $25*

(3.5 out of 5 | Very Good, Recommended to Outstanding and Delicious, Highly Recommended)

(*Ratings Guide)