Rich and concentrated in a massive heavy bottle. Dark impenetrable ruby-garnet with bright clear rim. Gob and gobs of black fruit, liquored up and itchin to fight, dump themselves onto your face. Dripping with decadence, raspberry, vanilla, thick woody briar, wet leather and cassis all meld into a juicy dessert, fighting for your attention.

Clearly one of those blockbuster CF’s that give cab and merlot and blends there-of a run for the money. There’s a little thin pepper and viral vegetal to it which tells you it is not a massive cab, but other than that it has all the markings of a California-style offering from some of Cabernet & Friends’ most respected.

Ohhhhh. I was WRONG. It is only the nose that woos you into this being a door-stop cab. In the mouth all the clean lines of CF come beautifully–and thinly-alive. Streamlined and restrained, juicy to extremes but refreshingly so–not jam-packed and cloying. Spicy and alive, the sparkling fruit becomes dense and smoky late-middle, nice bitter tannins churning in–still buoyed on gobs and gobs of delicious cranberry.

How beautiful is THIS? It is not Loire by any stretch of the imagination–and it’s not supposed to be–I like the way it plumps up its Bordeaux homage into a SCREAMING version still CLEARLY cab franc but unapologetic in its lavishness. There’s only one word for this wine: Delicious.

2014 TANTARA Cabernet Franc Los Olivos District Santa Ynez Valley 14.6


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