INSIDER'S PICK: 2016 FIELD RECORDINGS 'FRANC' CABERNET FRANC PASO ROBLES $21.99
To start with, yest this is THE least mysterious wine label in creation, leaving absolutely no doubt what grape is in the bottle. No parsing through appellation info or artistic interpretation, just what's in the bottle and who brought it to you. The graphics department got the week off when this wine was conceived. Field Recordings is another wine project similar to the Union Sacre wines we featured in last week's Insider Pick, born from a young Californian eager to make wines from unique and/or forgotten plots of vines. We have carried many wines from this viticulturist by day/winemaker by night over the last several years, including his impressive Alloy wines available in 500ml cans, which shows the level of innovation and outside-the-box thinking that's happening at these types of wine projects. Most would think a wine from Paso Robles would fall in to the typical warm climate style of wine the region is known for; ripe, forward and aggressive with lots of modern hallmarks like higher natural alcohol and prominent barrel usage. And while there is ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with that style of wine, it's nice to know variety exists for those that may want something a little different now and again.
The Loire's influence is immediately noticed, with the wine weighing in at under 13%abv and the use of only neutral oak barrels allowing the cranberry and fresh red fruits and natural perfume of Cabernet Franc to shine through. On the palate there is plenty of natural weight thanks to being bottled with little filtration, and it pulls out more red fruit and warmth to the flavors as it opens up, even developing some cinnamon and clove spice tones. There is just enough flesh to this to make the Californian roots noticeable, but not obviously so. This is a surprisingly adept wine that will be making a LOT of appearances on Thanksgiving and holiday dinner tables as it ticks all the boxes for a food friendly wine with all sorts of side dishes and sauces.
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