2007 Roanoke Vineyards, Gabby’s Cabernet Franc, Long Island ($39)
Today’s wine serves as more of a rallying cry than a shopping list…because the Roanoke 2007 Cabernet Franc may be strictly limited in its availability. But I got the chance to taste it recently…and I’m so eager to tell you what it means to me! First of all, the wine-growing region of Long Island simply doesn’t get enough attention. This is a wonderful place, with a wonderful climate, and very dedicated winemakers. I’ve been calling for more Long Island wine on NYC wine lists for almost 30 years. Some progress has been made, but not enough. Say “local oyster” to a restaurateur, and he/she will jump for joy. Say “local wine,” and he/she will jump out the window. Intolerable. THEN…when people do talk about Long Island reds, they get on the Merlot bandwagon. That’s a fine bandwagon…but not as fine, IMHO, as the Cabernet Franc bandwagon. It is CabFranc, I fearlessly predict, that will become the classic North Fork varietal. So here we have it: North Fork Cabernet Franc in all its glory, with almost seven years of age so you can see what it does with time. I’d be delighted to have this in my cellar! Medium garnet-brick. Fabulous evocative nose. Some Cab Franc green, but a deep grapy fruitiness…along with touches of mint, milk chocolate, pickled daikon, raspberry jam and white truffle. Medium-bodied, with lively acidity. Tannins are rounded out. Just a smudge of bitterness and heat in finish, but the right food will erase that.
And the right food is: well, it’s drag-out-the-grill season. I’d say: any protein off the grill, fish, fowl or beyond, should meld gorgeously with this aged wine. It is dry, however…so lay off the sweet marinades and condiments!