Cabernet Franc is a grape with noble roots but does not necessarily enjoy the reputation of Cabernet Sauvignon. Cab Franc actually is the progenitor of Cab Sauv (with Sauvignon Blanc), and famed Chateau Cheval Blanc is made primarily from Cab Franc. In the past decade, Cab Franc has enjoyed an increase in awareness and enjoyment in Washington, where it grows quite well and can produce classically styled reds. This example from a top Spokane winery comes from Conner Lee, a vineyard in the Columbia Basin. It opens with aromas of oregano, tobacco leaf, sage and vanilla, followed by flavors of black cherry, spicy oak and vanilla. It’s all backed with moderate tannins that give way to round, smooth flavors.
Production: 412 cases