Tasting Notes: Wolffer Estates Cabernet Franc, 2008


This Sagaponack, Long Island winery’s red, made of 85% Cabernet Franc and 15% Merlot, shows off a full-fledged personality that is a perfect complement for a steak, a rich pasta, or anything that can match its warm vibrance (we enjoyed ours with a porterhouse).

Hand-harvested at Wolffer Estates’ sustainable Hamptons vineyard on October 23 and 24, 2008, this Cabernet Franc was bottled in February, 2010.  The South Fork’s nutrient-rich loamy soil, combined with the vineyard’s proximity to the Atlantic air and the region’s relatively short growing season, is generally friendlier to white wines, but Cabernet Francs and Merlots have done well–and it shows in this 2008 red.

The wine has a deep, dark cherry red color; we let ours breathe in a decanter for three hours, after which it released aromas of smoky tobacco, rich berries, oak, and hints of chocolate. An unfiltered wine, this particular Cabernet Franc had a warm, heavily smooth mouth-feel with a bit of spice. Flavors of ripened fruits, cedar, and dark chocolate opened to dashes of black pepper. Overall, the wine carried a surprising depth of personality and structure, all commencing with a silky, long finish.

It’s a hard wine to beat when seeking value for money: a bottle of Wolffer’s 2008 Cabernet Franc is $23.00 plus tax and shipping from the vineyard’s website (we purchased ours from the corner wine shop for $29, thanks to New York City prices). Throw in a porterhouse steak accompanied by bacon-roasted potatoes and Brussels sprouts, and this wine comes alive in the sort of meal for which it’s made.

Wolffer Estates is in  Sagaponack, New York. To purchase this bottle or to learn more about the vineyard, please visit the winery’s website.

Photo credit: Jill Futter, Markets Media

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