It’s been some time since I last had a Cabernet Franc, and it’s not a grape to which I typically gravitate when I’m out hunting for fun new wine. This is not for any special reason other that I tend to drift more frequently toward Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir, and thus was a fun treat to encounter this red blend courtesy of my wife.
Grown in the Yadkin Valley of North Carolina is this 2011 Shelton Vineyards Cabernet Franc, a Bordeaux-style blended with 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. The vineyard has approximately 136,000 vines (spanning 145 miles) growing 10 different varieties of grapes, and they employ no-till farming techniques to help reduce erosion. That’s not to say all this green emphasis diminishes the outcome; to the contrary I thought the 2011 had muscle in all the right places.
We enjoyed this Cab Franc over several nights and with different meals that included sushi as well as ground beef. The wine dressed up our meals with its fresh, red fruity scents and little bit of pepper that is honestly quite endearing. Of the 2011 vintage, the folks at Shelton remark, “The finish on this wine has essence of woodland cedar and some smoke to complement rich grilled salmon, chicken or barbeque.” Some nice tannins deliver a lasting finish, too. In hindsight, I think this bottle received our “middle of the work week” treatment when it had all the merits for a weekend glass or two.
It’s my understanding that our local grocery store had the 2011 readily in stock and I’m interested in securing another couple of these for the fall.