Varietal: 85% Cabernet Sauvignon; 11% Merlot; 3% Syrah; 1% Malbec
Region: Napa Valley, California – USA
Cost: $28 (SRP)
Winemaker’s Notes: Deep garnet in color with complex and vibrant aromas of red plum, anise, cherry, violets, and tobacco accentuated by notes of black currant, dried herbs, toasted oak, and cocoa. The wine has an elegant and supple texture on the palate, the frame for generous flavors of sweet plum and dark cherry, with notes of vanilla and mocha. Silky tannins and well-integrated structure tie together and linger in the finish.
My Review: My first review of the new year, even if I did enjoy the wine in the last year. Before having some friends over to play games, relax, drink some wine, and ring in the new year, my wife and I treated ourselves to a surf and turf dinner. Given the enormity of the steak we got (seriously, the thing was like 1.39 pounds of strip steak), I decided to open the bottle of 2010 Franciscan Estate Cabernet that I had been sent some weeks earlier.
The wine was very dark in the glass, garnet in color with slashes of violet that I caught while it was pouring, but that quickly were hidden. On the nose I picked up anise, cherry, and violets at first, but the more the wine opened up I started getting notes of cocoa and dried herbs. In the mouth the wine showed vanilla and dark cherry, with mocha showing as the wine opened up.
With our dinner of steak and lobster tails the wine was good. It had good body to pair with the steak, but wasn’t so big as to completely overwhelm it, or too little as to be overwhelmed by the steak. The wine showed well from the beginning, but definitely got better as it opened up. I don’t know that I thought it drank better than the $28 they’re asking for it, but it certainly was worth the $28 and I didn’t feel like I would have wasted my money had I bought the wine.
All in all I enjoyed the wine, and would definitely keep it in mind if I was looking for a sub $30 wine to pair with a steak again. The medium to full-bodied mouth feel definitely appealed to me, especially given what I was eating, and I could see myself grabbing this one again. Worth a try if you’re looking for a steak wine.
Editor’s Note: I received this bottle of wine as a free sample.