2015 Cabernet Franc Carmenere, (oops)

img_1130If by “oops”, they mean “oops, I drank the whole bottle” then, yes, this wine is an “oops”.

Actually, the reason it’s called (oops) is the same reason why Merlot from Chile doesn’t taste like Merlot from anywhere else: it’s not Merlot. As it turns out, some lucky Carmenere grapes escaped France during the great wine blight of the 1860’s. The refugee grapes made their way to Chile but were mistaken for Merlot and were packaged and sold as such until one sunny day in 1994 when astute viticulturist, Jean-Michel Boursiquit, finally figured out why the Merlot tasted a lot like Carmenere. So, you know, …oops.

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I could say that this was one of my favorite wines from Chile but, to be honest, I’ve never met a Chilean wine that I didn’t like.

(oops) Cabernet Franc Carmenere is rich with chocolate, coffee, plum and pepper. Bold with a nice finish, reasonably priced at $10.99 and topped with a convenient screw cap which, by the way, I’ve come to appreciate because the only thing better than having a super fancy cork screw is not having to use it.

P.S. 14% alcohol.

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Wine Review: 2014 Cabernet Franc, Elk Run Vineyard and Winery

 

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Cabernet Franc, Elk Run Vineyards

This Sunday’s field trip was to Elk Run Vineyards and Winery in Mt. Airy, MD.

Elk Run is much smaller than the previous two wineries Xavier and I have visited.  It is privately owned and operated and the owners live in a normal house at the other end of the driveway. The tasting room is unpretentious in every way; small and cozy and inhabited by an elderly gray cat.

On the surface nothing is fancy.

Until they pour the wine.

Thriving on a diet of magic dirt and unicorn tears, these are some exuberantly happy grapes. “That is fer-damn delicious.”, I said to Xavier while tasting the Cabernet Franc and the bartender let out a little involuntary snort.

We did the general tasting, which is six pre-selected wines for $6 per person.

The thing about a wine tasting is that it seems like just a few harmless sips but by the 6th taste the grapes have started talking and I ordered a glass of Cabernet Franc while engaging our friendly bartender in what she must have thought was a ridiculous conversation comparing the economic efficiency of a custom built tiny house VS. buying a less tiny manufactured home and tested her vast knowledge of viniculture with thoughtful and intelligent questions such as “How long does a grape vine live?”

Of the six wines that were served, there were three that I was particularly taken with: Pinot Gris, Cabernet Franc and Sweet Katherine. I could be perfectly happy drinking those three wines for the rest of forever but, if I had to pick just one, it would be the Cabernet Franc.

Made with grapes grown in their Cold Friday Vineyard, the Cabernet Franc is a tall glass of deep red silk.  Identifying all the subtle flavors could take time, lasting well into the dark hours of the night, so I recommend saving this bottle for an evening when you’ve got nowhere to be and can sleep-in the next morning.

They say the Cabernet Franc tastes of German Chocolate cake, ripe olives and black pepper, which I absolutely don’t recommend eating on the same plate, but when the subtleties of the flavors come together in the alchemy of a wine barrel the end result is impressive to say the least.

My recommendation: Have another glass. 🙂

 

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Elk Run Vineyard and Winery
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Elk Run Vineyard and Winery

On the way to Elk Run, we drove through Libertytown; home of many photo-worthy abandoned houses. A word to wise, be mindful of barriers like fences and No Trespassing signs. Gun-happy residents are often living nearby.

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Abandoned house in Libertytown, MD. Photo by d.Nelle Vincent.
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Photo by d.Nelle Vincent. Libertytown, MD
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Photo by d.Nelle Vincent. Libertytown, MD