Coombsville AVA, (SE) Napa Valley, CA; 14.0% ABV
$18 at the Richmond, CA, store on 19 Dec
After I quite liked the Cairdean 2012 Atlas Peak Petite Verdot, I thought I really should also try this 2012 Coombsville Cabernet Franc. On the first night, I tasted one glass over about 3 hours, just stuffing the cork back in the bottle after a couple hours. I thought the wine was frankly weird, with blackberry and red cherry fruit, a bit candied, with complexities of black olive and too-strong, coarse, Chinese salt plum (li hing mui).
On the second night, I left the bottle open for a while before pouring out another glass and stuffing the cork back in. After some time in the glass, the wine integrated pretty well, showing similar flavors to the first night’s, but also light coffee, maybe strawberry, toasty oak, in a very pretty and elegant, complex delineation. The candied aspect was still present but more mild, and the body seemed a bit light.
Repeating this procedure on the third night, I finally noticed a pattern. The wine starts with the blackberry, salt plum, and red cherry in a rather coarse presentation. After an hour or so in the glass, the wine integrates well, showing more complexities and a lot more elegance. There is still a drying and somewhat rough tannic finish, promising a good bit of further development for this wine. It seems like it’s too young to really show well, maybe even shutting down some.
On the fourth day (!), the last glass of this wine still needed about an hour to smooth out and integrate like previous days, perhaps a little more filled out than before. So, while there was no point at which I was really loving this wine, it seems promising and interesting enough to perhaps lay down a couple more bottles to see what develops.
Zoel wrote, “I opened up the Cairdean Cab Franc the other day, and was fairly impressed…took about 3 hr to really bloom, and then was quite enjoyable and a decent value. Yes, a tad heavy-handed, as has been noted on the Cairdean string, but a solid CFranc all the same. I bought some more yesterday.”