Funny how wines can mess with your mind–just by packaging and labeling. This is assuredly a 1% problem only, as the 99 are fairly oblivious to such standards and logical assumptions–and therein lies the rub with dorkiness. First of all the color and density–and coming out of a hard-shouldered bottle and from Chalk Hill, the expectation is much more of a BDX-styled wine. But this really isn’t. Not at all. Transparent amber-garnet, an even light tawny throughout. Thin of fruit and concentration in the nose, it presents clean, firm cherry, plum and strawberry: bright, acid-driven fruit, green and spring-time influenced, but not-so-much tomato-vine as mascarpone here. It’s rich, but quite Grenache-feeling: color, body, smell… everything. Blind, I am pretty sure I would fail at “CF”.
Tasting it brings more stark contrasts with both Bordeaux AND Loire. Light and delicate, with robust, smoky concentration balanced precariously inside. Again: feeling Pinot-like in its ability to deliver full-fruitedness in such a light body, and Grenache-like in texture and roundness of fruit. Adolescently chubby in pristine firm plumishness, it still offers the patina of garnet in the mouthfeel, and where green, somewhat peppery situations present themselves mid-palate, tannins are an extremely soft affair, tugging gently at black-olive and warm pie-cherry.
I swear this is Grenache. Which of course isn’t possible, but as Cab-Franc: it’s the oddest one you’ve ever had. It’s good wine. It’s really good wine. It just doesn’t fit any pigeon-holes for ANYTHING, really. It’s a fun wine you could serve to people who don’t over-think things and they would be in love. But for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord.
2016 ROALD WINE COMPANY Cabernet Franc Chalk Hill Sonoma Co. 14.5