Sometimes I chide myself for not giving enough attention to Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Granted many are excessively expensive, but thankfully not all, and when I recently tasted the 2010 Franciscan Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon I was strongly reminded that Napa can deliver tremendous taste for a relatively modest price.
What I particularly loved about this wine was that it manages to harmoniously combine an ability to give immediate drinking pleasure, with the knowledge that it has the firm structure and depth of flavor to enable it to evolve for at least five years. I loved the brightness and freshness of the fruit aromas and flavors in this wine — a dense medley of cassis, black plum and cherry, intertwined with notes of sweet and savory spice, clove, tarragon and well integrated oak notes of vanilla and toast. It is fairly full-bodied with a rich texture. The supple tannins are nicely noticeable but not in any way invasive. This wine shows very good generosity of flavor and has a long length.
At the table: Cabernet Sauvignon with its bold flavors and high level of tannins calls out strogly for red meat. This 2010 from Franciscan Estate will hold its own with any good steak - just simply grilled. I also particularly like it with Nealey's hearty and warming Beef Goulash dish which she posted about back in February.
About Franciscan Estate and this 2010 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
Franciscan Estate was founded back in 1973 in Oakville, in the heart of the Napa Valley's prime vineyard area by Justin Meyer and Raymond Duncan, two wine industry revolutionaries at the time. Today Franciscan Estate is part of the Constellation Brands stable - one of the the largest wine groups in the world!
This wine is predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon, with small amounts of Merlot, Syrah and Malbec in the blend to add complexity. For this Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, the finest lots are selected to showcase the best of their estate vineyards. After vinification and before bottling, the wine spent 22 months ageing in French oak barrique of which 25% was new oak.
Mary Gorman-McAdams, MW (Master of Wine), is a New York based wine educator, freelance writer and consultant. In 2012 she was honored as a Dame Chevalier de L'Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne.
(Image: Crown Wine and Spirits)