Cabernet Franc and Appalachian Oak — A Great Partnership

Creekside Cellars Cabernet Franc, 2012 (Appalachian Oak Barrels)Creekside Cellars Franc 2012

Cabernet Franc is known for its elegant juicy, fruity aromas:  blackberry, raspberry, red cherry, some black currant, mintyness, and sometimes grass and herbs in its impression.  At times, it can taste and smell like underripe Cabernet Sauvignon, but there are no minty or grassy aromas in this 2012 Cabernet Franc from Creekside Cellars in Evergreen, Colorado!  Juicy aromas are everywhere, leaping on the palate and, yes, with the signature reminder of pencil shavings.  It’s a beautiful marriage of leather, smoke, clove, and caramel with mouthwatering fruit.  The nose is very appealing.

This example was aged for 24 months in Appalachian Oak.  Appalachian Oak Barrels are widely used and offer on the nose some pepper and spice, of which you will get a hint in this wine.  Some oaks impart sweetness to the wine, but the Appalachian Oak does not, leaving the acids to shine.  It can give a creamy, and some say lemony, finish to the wine.  Elegance can be offered when Franc is nurtured in this oak barrel and I especially like the wine for its elegance and grip, if the two can go together in your imagination.

Creekside’s Franc is varietal in character with a medium concentration.  It is well-framed with great balance, sporting fine tannins that are not without the grip I mentioned.  Food is what it calls for with that pleasing, arresting texture, and it goes well with many cheeses, sauces that are rich in character, meats (white and red) and those earthy flavors of mushroom and truffle.

The 2012 vintage was a good year for Colorado and this wine proves it.  Well made and clean (always at this winery), this Creekside offering is more proof that Colorado grapes can stand proudly with other regions.  A slight gravely minerality in this wine and a leaning to Old World style exemplifies the character of the vineyard’s soils.

Rating: 90

Emotional rating?  Lovers of elegance in a red wine with a will to stand bold with food will rate this one very high.

Availability:  at the winery in downtown Evergreen, Colorado or from their website.  Call for information on shipping to your state.

You’ll find many great Colorado wines described in my books, “Experiencing Colorado Wine, Volume 1 – The Dry Red Wines ” and “Experiencing Colorado Wine, Volume 2 – The Whites and Rosés.”  Volume 1 also provides descriptions of the pairing of several Colorado wines with a great recipes by great Colorado chefs.

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