della Venezie IGT, northeastern Italy; 12% ABV
$5 at the Richmond, CA, store on 24 June
When we saw a Veneto-area Cabernet Franc in the order guide, we thought this sounded pretty good! In particular, I thought that a CF from an area that makes lighter, more aromatic reds, could be really very interesting. However, when the wine arrived, it turned out to be non-vintage, and thus likely lower quality. Still, I had to try one to find out. It’s not as bad as I had feared, but nowhere near as good as I had originally hoped.
I thought this wine needed about 1.5 hours of air in a decanter to open. Then, it shows soft, purplish dark red cherry, cherry / red raspberry acid, hint of blueberry / blackberry, very slight sweet black pepper. My impression is that, while it’s not bad wine, there’s neither anything especially expressive of Cabernet Franc (okay, it’s not Zinfandel, but it could credibly be Cabernet Sauvignon), nor anything especially Italian about it. Except for perhaps slightly stronger acid, it could almost be Californian.
The second half, saved in a 375ml bottle and stoppered with very little acid, was very similar to the first half, so it’s at least a pretty solid wine.