WBW #44 French Cabernet Franc

Our host for this edition of WBW, the brain-child of Lenn of Lenndevous, is Gary Vaynerchuk of Wine Library TV. He chose French Cabernet Franc as theme for this month (ostensibly as a result of his recent trip tasting in France!). You can watch his vlog about the event here, but the jist is pick a French Cabernet Franc and post your link by April 2, 2008 in the comments to the entry on his website.

I’ll admit straight up that I sorta cheated on this one. Having been in travel mode since before Gary’s theme announcement, I really didn’t have much of a chance to pick up a bottle for this month or shop around. I popped into my favorite local shop, The Winery in Old Town Alexandria, and sadly could not come up with a full on Cabernet Franc. So I went with a 25% Cabernet Franc, 70% Merlot, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon Bordeaux style blend.

The wine is a 2004 Chateau Quercy Saint-Emilion Grand Cru. It clocked in at 13% alcohol by volume, had a real cork closure, and cost me $25.99. This is out of the price range I’m usually willing to spend on unknown wines, but the shop owner highly recommended it, and desperate times call for desperate measures.

On the nose of the wine I found cocoa powder, espresso, strawberry, herbs, and an overall smoky quality. In the mouth the fruit was dusty and smoky. I almost felt like I was drinking cedar grilled cherries and strawberries, but with fresh raspberries and a slightly biting herb bouquet dipped in espresso.

The wine was tannic on the first night, but smoothed considerably on the second. On the second night the wine took on an even smokier quality with more oak and cedar coming through, and the fruit being less dusty or smoky. I believe this one has quite a few years of age left on it.

Many thanks to Gary for hosting WBW this month. I’ll be particularly interested to see what form the round-up will take! And as always, barring another other internetless interludes, I will let you know when the round-up is posted and when the May WBW theme is announced!

3 Responses

  1. Hey Sonadora,

    I’m sad you weren’t able to dig up a varietal Cabernet Franc but happy you took the chance on Quercy — an old friend. Owner Stéphane Apelbaum is a good guy and a total nut. Though the wine has some definite structure, it’s actually meant to be drunk young, at least by Bordeaux standards. Stéphane recommends it in the 3-8 year time frame.

    On a related note, keep your eyes peeled for other wines from Quercy’s importer, Wine Traditions. As they’re based in Falls Church, I expect some of their wines may show up in your local shops. The WT portfolio features some real gems from SW France and is a safe bet across the board.

  2. I have to echo David’s comments in full. WT’s wines are all good value wines; most are from the SW of France. If you ever get the chance to meet Ed, the man behind WT, you will be treated to a great education. I know the folks at Arrowine carry a lot of his stuff, but it should be around. Look for the La Bouree (usually 50% merlot, 25% cab sauv., 25% cab franc) — around 13-15 and drinks about $5 more expensive.
    As for the Quercy, I’ve enjoyed several vintages and been a fan of it for everyone (sadly, my last bottle of the 2000 was corked). You are right in that it is usually a pretty tightly wound wine that needs some good breathing time to open up.

  3. Thanks for the tips David. Will certainly keep my eyes out. Though I really do think this one had some years left in it or else a good decanting!

    Hi GP- Thanks for visiting. I used to make it over to Arrowine a bit more frequently, but it’s a slight hike since we moved to Alexandria. I do get their emails though, I will look to see if they have a tasting with the importer.

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