I first tasted this wine last summer at The Winemaker Studio during a rare childless wine country jaunt with my wife and friends. As winemaker Anthony Nappa poured it and I first put my nose in the glass, I knew this was a wine I would fall for.

And I did. Hard.

Anthony Nappa Wines 2010 “Bordo” Cabernet Franc ($20) was the first wine I picked for the first shipment of the Empire State Cellars Wine Club. Truth be told, the chance to have it again was the initial inspiration behind our recent dinner with Nappa and his wines. I’ve also probably enjoyed a half case or more myself over the past few months.

It’s sold out now (though you may find some at local shops) but I realized recently that I had never done an official review here on the site.

Made without yeast inoculation, this is 100% cabernet franc and didn’t see a splinter of oak during its production, making it one of the purest expressions of the North Fork in a hot, dry year without layers of vanilla or chocolate to wade through.

The nose is bright with red raspberries and cherries, wild fennel, sundried tomatoes and a sprinkling of fresh herbs — think basil and sweet thyme.

A fresh, lively palate shows juicy, faintly rustic acidity and a bit of skin tannin for structure. Crunch red berries and hints of plum — fresh and dried — are accented by assorted herbs and spice. Part of me thinks that maybe it’s that rusticity, that humble, authentic edge that has me so charmed by this wine. Regardless, it’s delicious and I can only hope Anthony gets the type of growing season he needs again to make something similar one of these days.

Producer: Anthony Nappa Wines
AVA: North Fork of Long Island
ABV: 13.8%
Price: $20


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