Silhouette of Franc

A soft-shouldered bottle of Cab Franc is instant nectar to me–especially one at a reasonable price. One of the great wine-1% litmuses is the appreciation of the two distinct styles of CF–something completely lost on the 99. Add Alexander Valley to the mix and it’s a sure-buy. Not exactly an AVA I gravitate to in terms of Loire-style CF, but outliers are always appreciated. I didn’t actually notice this was 2010 until after opening and was like, “How OLD is this???” Pulling the cork reveals “Manzanita Creek Winery” printed… and more questions.

Dark ruby with a touch of brick at the rim. Flabby and ridiculously oxidized in the nose. Dead and lifeless, fruit gone to the flaccid dark side of disgusting stewed concentration and obesity and the unkind things age can do to ill-prepared wines. Rotten-smelling and thoroughly off-putting, a miasma of moldy fruit and pruniness.

The interesting part about this is how the back label–something I have never seen before–SPELLS out the two distinct styles of CF and their related bottle-shapes, indicating of course how THIS one is made in the non-Bordelais mold. I give it a point for education, but everything else about this wine misses the mark terribly.

Absolutely DEAD in the mouth, not even something you could chalk up to *interestingly aged* or viable as “wine” in any discussion. Flat, sweet, fat fruit, one-dimensional and long in need of a diet, NOTHING about this wine says Chinon–or likely ever did. Heat piles onto the prune mid-palate, and vapid, non-tannic nothingness allows the thick, wasted berry to fill the mouth un-encumbered. I could see a lot of people quite liking this wine, and considering it gloriously aged and even interesting, but if you have a 3-digit IQ, do not buy this wine under any circumstances. Absolute drain-food.

2010 SILHOUETTE Cabernet Franc Alexander Valley Sonoma Co. 14.3

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