Saturday, December 11, 2010

Robert Sinskey Cabernet Franc

Robert Sinskey Vineyards
Cabernet Franc
Vandal Vineyard
Los Carneros
Napa, California, USA
$20.99 -- Twin Liquors, Austin, TX

Color: Deep ruby
Nose: Chipotle-cedar chocolate covered cherry
Body: Full
Front: Sour cherry
Middle: Licorice, raspberry
Back: Cigar wrapper, coffee, assertive tannins
Burns clean?: Yes
Cap: Cork

This is only the second Cab Franc I've reviewed, despite my affection for this varietal. There's something elusive and haunting about it. People talk about the soft tannins, flowerdy smell, and about the chocolateyness of it, but that ain't it for me. I've had tongue-wrappingly tannic ones, and dark fruit dominated ones with no sign of mocha. I find it a moving target, when it's the principal grape in the blend.

If there's not a smidgen of Merlot in this, I'll be shocked. 2002: it's eight years old at this point, and still tannic, and no sign of brown at the edges. Try it with chocolate, or something lightly spicy, and I think it'll drink easier. But for me this is a wine for drinking when you want to think about things, including the weirdness of taste, as an experience. It's far from easy drinking, but far from unrewarding, too.