Cairdean 2012 Cabernet Franc

Coombsville AVA, (SE) Napa Valley, CA; 14.0% ABV
$18 at the Richmond, CA, store on 19 Dec

cairdean_2012_cabfrancAfter 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.”


4 thoughts on “Cairdean 2012 Cabernet Franc

  1. Bambi Lynn Ware

    Bought early January, 2017 and just opened this. Fabulous! Full body, deep cherry, smooth drinking wine; tastes almost like a Cabernet. Wish I had bought a case of this. Fantastic value.

  2. Darrell

    I am not as enthusiastic about this wine as others and especially for the price. On opening all I could get beyond the vinosity of a well made red was a bunch of oak, good oak mind you. I was hoping for some cooler Bordeaux varietal aromas, but all I smelled and tasted was oak with low toast. I must say it was good oak that had a vegetal, herbaceous smell and did go down well. I am not an air guy, but I did evaluate the wine over two days and the oak smell developed a licorice smell.

  3. poursomemore

    It is just my opinion, but this cab franc gives and gives and then gives more. Those that have tasted some of the fleshy French cab franc’s from France over the past 20 plus years may “really” enjoy the evolution of a poured glass or two of this wine. Similar character to the top tier cab francs in Northern California (e.g., Dry Creek Valley and Ramon Burr Winery (recently sold) come to mind), but what I like is this wine suggests “pour some more” to enjoy the evolution. Not very many wines say let me try some more. Worth double the price compared to some of the best in the world.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s