It is a point of some debate, but I’m of the belief that you cannot — and should not — remove all of the ‘green’ flavor from cabernet franc. Many try, either through extensive leaf-pulling programs, extended hang time and/or aggressive use of new oak barrels. But at the end of the day, ‘green’ is just part of the cabernet franc’s varietal character and I want to taste it.

Now, I’m not suggesting that I want bell pepper or asparagus or green bean to be the dominant aroma or flavor in any wine. There is a difference between under-ripe character and the herbal-vegetal edge — something I usually just call “good green” in a well-made cabernet franc. Sometimes it presents as nothing more than a subtle note of bay leaf on the finish. Other times it’s more assertive, more like a tomato and herb garden.

Anthony Nappa Wines 2012 “Bordo” Cabernet Franc ($20) is a cabernet franc lover’s cabernet franc because of the assertive natures of its “good green” qualities.

Fermented with only ambient yeasts and made without oak, this rustic, table-ready red offers aromas of  just-crushed red raspberries and blackberries, graphite and grilled herbs and roasted poblano pepper.

Medium bodied, with low tannins and crunchy acidity, the palate combines more fresh briar fruit with a woodsy spice, black tea, tomato leaf and more grilled herbs. The finish lingers nicely with a savory note — making this a wine that shines with food. This isn’t a wine to ponder and ruminate about. Drink it with a meal and with friends and enjoy it.

Producer: Anthony Nappa Wines
AVA: North Fork of Long Island
ABV: 12.3%
Price: $20* | Buy now from Empire State Cellars

(3 out of 5, Very good/Recommended)