Monday, May 21, 2012
A Titanic Battle of 2008 Cabernet Francs......
The father-in-law is in town and that means I have to up my game with the food, wine and food & wine. Tonight's dinner was grilled tri-tip with garden-fresh broccoli (amazing!), couscous and garden-fresh chimichurri. Thinking the herbaceous chimichurri sauce would pair well with Cabernet Franc, I pulled one of mine and one that my father-in-law brought.
My contribution was the 2008 Dunning Vineyards Private Reserve Cabernet Franc, Paso Robles. Beautiful, impenetrable color hints at the wine's power and extraction. Wonderfully rustic notes of blackberry, licorice, sweet Provencal herb and a touch of roasted meat. Palate pretty much mimics the nose with huge tannins and nicely balanced acidity. Dusty finish goes on and on and on. A stunning example of Paso Robles Cabernet Franc. I can't remember what I paid for this, but I suspect it was around $30. I've been in Dunning's wine club for about 3 years now and this is the only bottle of this wine I've received so far. I really, really hope there is more forthcoming.
As delicious as the Dunning was, I have to say it was upstaged by the 2008 Justin Vineyards Justification, Paso Robles. This blend of 65% Cabernet Franc and 35% Merlot pours a light, uninspiring color. But the nose - oh, my god, the nose! The sugary blueberry cobbler brings to mind the heretofore incomparable 1994 Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon, perhaps the greatest wine I've ever had. Tremendous blue and black fruits on the palate with considerable licorice and thyme. Moderate tannins suggest this might not age quite as well as the Dunning, but both as drinking so well tonight that I wouldn't bother aging either one. Normally about $50, but purchased by my father-in-law for $19.99.
There were no losers on the table this evening. Had the Justin not been there, I would still be turning cartwheels at the awesomeness of the Dunning. But the Justification just took everything to another plane. Not that I've been in a rut or anything, but this was one of those nights that just reaffirms my passion for the grape.