Billsboro Winery 2012 Cabernet Franc ($25) is ripe and fruit-forward on the nose with cherry and plum aromas that stay this side of jammy and accents of tobacco, baking spice and dried herbs.

The first sip is a bit disjointed and almost comes across as hot (an indicator of higher alcohol that isn’t balanced) but with some air that fades and this medium-bodied, ripe-but-not-too-ripe red settles in with red and black fruit notes that are tinged by toasty vanilla oak-born spice and a bit of brown sugar. Structure is provided by juicy acidity rather than the tannins, which are soft and rounded.

On my second and third days tasting this wine, a bit more earthy-herbal varietal character was able to peek out from behind the oak, but the fruit had faded a bit as well.

Producer: Billsboro Winery
AVA: Finger Lakes
ABV: 13%
Price: $25 (sample)

(3 out of 5, Very good/Recommended)