Prime Directive

Hot on the heels of a new report showing CF prices in Napa eclipsing those of Cab, thought we’d visit one. Trends… *yawn*… Oh well, whatever gets the 99 curious about wine–quality wine–is fine with me. Has cab’s reputation been tarnished beyond repair? Does cab-franc seem more accessible? Less snobby? Edgier? Who knows, but the beauty of this variety–like Merlot–has never waned in true wine-lover’s minds. Maybe people who can’t pronounce wines just like saying it better.

This is rich, thick luscious stuff, chewy and delicious–maybe a bit TOO much so for this palate. Deep dark ruby in the glass, with a bare rim of easy garnet. Nasal-stuffing is no slacker either, churning gobs of impenetrable ripe black cherry and syrupy oak out of the bowl: beautiful licorice-tinged vanilla and maraschino, with just enough wet concrete and worn wood to keep me interested.

Tasting it follows through with no surprises. A bit spicier and more acidic than I expected–and that’s a GOOD thing. Smooth and uncomplicated, the fruit a polished, decadent number, but restrained comfortably on the palate. White pepper and herbs de Provence muddle the thick berry, continuing to a finish raspy with dry pepper but unmistakably not tannin. 12 is one of my least-favorite vintages of Napa Valley–showing more chubby curves than even 2010–and I own very few of them. This is pretty stuff, and crowd-pleasing for sure.

2012 PRIME SOLUM Cabernet Franc Brokenrock Vyd Napa Valley 14.5

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