I’m not going to put too fine a point on this, you KNOW I don’t participate in National anything Days–the last one I colluded with was Orange Wine Day because I wanted to tell the world you can drink Pinot Gris without being a little bitch. But this one I had in the queue and discovered quite unexpectedly this morning it was Cab Franc day. I decided to go ahead and open it, damn the #influencer. Most of you will also know I typically drink Loire-style CF but this time we’re going BDX-style because tonight I wanted something a little rich and God-fearing.
Dark throbbing garnet right out to its rusty edges. I’m guessin this has a little time on it. Yup, 2014. Dark throbbing nose as well, also showing the patina of a bit of age, but so ridiculously perfumed, creamy chocolate, broken oozing tree-roots in freshly back-hoe’d trenches, and the kind of conifer/redwood/volcanic/humus earthy tang only the mountains in wine-country can provide, all staggering heavily under a crushing load of black cherry and plum preserves.
I can’t remember the last time I tasted a CF like this. Peach-pit astringency massaged in olive oil glow, the green briary aspect of the mountain soil, all the deep rockiness and healthy struggle create a yin-yang tug-o-war with the fruit, which definitely takes a back seat in the mouth. You’ve heard me talk about wines like this before: Jam-packed fruit in the nose and *visible* in the mouth but needing a closed-eye search, but OMG it’s there, crazy tart cherry and strawberry rhubarb–not savory or shy, just so PIERCED with the delirious grunginess of structure and hi-note dedication to NEVER SELLING OUT.
There is NO monstrous jammy fruit here. There are NO layers of oaky butter caramel. Sure, these things both exist in slender terms as nature intended from well-produced grapes, selective harvesting and hands-off winemaking, but any ostentatiousness is out the window. Buy a case of this and drink 1 a year.
2014 ANCIENT OAK CELLARS ‘Alcaeus’ CF/ME 93/7 Berger VYD Sonoma MT 14.1