NV Abingdon Vineyards Cabernet Franc
Have you ever opened up a bottle of wine with so very little expectation only to be blown away by it? So much so, that you have to look at the bottle several times to make sure you opened the right one? Sheri bought 2 bottles of this non-vintage Abingdon Vineyards and Winery Cabernet Franc at the winery in Abingdon, Virginia about 3 years ago when she was working in the area and needed an afternoon diversion. For those unfamiliar with the area, Abingdon is a small town on the western panhandle of Virginia about 100 miles north of Knoxville and easy to overlook. Apparently, she enjoyed the scenic winery grounds and liked the wine enough to pack 2 bottles of it along with 2 bottles of their Norton wine in her suitcase to bring home.
About a year ago, we went to dinner with our good friend, James, and we brought a bottle of the Abingdon Vineyards Norton wine to the restaurant and tried it. Well, it wasn’t quite the same experience as this Cab Franc. The Norton grape is a North American varietal that has a…umm, unique musky flavor. James didn’t think much of it and that kind of set the tone for thoughts on Virginia wines. I didn’t really expect that the Cab Franc would be reminiscent of a luxurious Burgundy. It’s brilliant garnet color and expressive bouquet of smoke, leather, cigar box and delicate black fruits was the appetizer. The main course of pomegranate, black olives, black cherry and beef jerky on the palette was incredibly savory. Flavors I never would expect from American Oak. Thanks to the 12.5% alcohol, the finish was elegant, balanced and lingering, leaving the mouth refreshed. This wine was detailed and graceful making me forget it was a Cab Franc. I’m just glad we still have another bottle of this in the cellar. To top it off, Sheri remembers that it cost less than $15. Cha-ching!
If you ever make it out to the western part of Virginia, stop in and try the wine. You might be as surprised as I was.