By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor
Bedell Cellars' red wine program focuses mainly on blends -- First Crush Red, Taste Red and Musee -- and two consistently good merlots.
But, as anyone who knows him will tell you, winemaker Rich Olsen-Harbich is a cabernet franc lover. And while he didn't make this Bedell Cellars 2009 Cabernet Franc ($30) start-to-finish, he did finish and bottle it.
When Olsen-Harbich took over in June, he wasn't sure what the previous winemaker had in mind for this wine. "All I could do was drive it in the direction I felt it should go," he said in an email "In this case I racked the wine out of oak shortly after I arrived and allowed the wine to remain in stainless until bottling in August.
As he often does -- especially with his reds -- Olsen-Harbich bottled it at very low sulfur levels and with minimal filtration.
Black fruits dominate the nose, mostly black plum and black cherry, with sweet herbs, spice and a distinct brown sugar-molasses note.
The palate is medium bodied with a core of ripe, sweet black fruits with layers of herbs, plum skin and vanilla oak. Well-integrated ripe tannins and subtle acidity frame those flavors without being overly grippy.
The brown sugar notes from the nose peek back in at the end of a long finish -- along with just a bit of oak.
Producer: Bedell Cellars
AVA: North Fork of Long Island