I've enjoyed winemaker Osprey's Dominion Vineyards winemaker Adam Suprenant's cabernet franc for as long as I've been drinking Long Island wines. Even in the so-called lesser years, it's one of my favorites.
At $20, it's also one of the best values in local franc.
Chocolate-covered cherries come to mind on the nose along with ripe black raspberries, rubbed sage, dried cherries and a little oak.
Medium-to-full bodied, the palate is extremely ripe -- edging on too ripe -- with blackberries and black raspberries leading the way. A sprinkling of herbs -- sage and thyme -- mingles with notes of dark chocolate and maybe just a bit too much charcoal/oak.
Round in the mouth, the tannins are medium-light with acidity that brings a bit of freshness to the medium-length finish that again is a bit woody.
Producer: Osprey's Dominion Vineyards AVA: North Fork of Long Island ABV: 13% Price: $20* Rating: 88
With wines from "great red wine years" like 2005 and 2007 available across New York (with 2010s still at least a year away), it would be easy to focus on wines from those vintages and dismiss those from other years.
It's easy to be wowed by the intensity and power of those wines, but if you explore New York reds with hot-vintage blinders on, you'll miss out on a great many delicious, satisfying wines from more typical years.
This Lakewood Vineyards 2008 Cabernet Franc ($16) is an nice example of we shouldn't dismiss cooler years.
Pretty black raspberry fruit is joined on the nose by notes of smoky tea, cedar, dusty cocoa powder and delicate green character.
Though made in a distinctly lighter-bodied style, there is a lot to like here. The fruit flavors lean a bit more towards red berries with a smoky edge and understated eartiness with a dash of cocoa and baking spice.
The finish is medium-long if a bit oaky, but there's an intriguing spiciness too.