Westover Cabernet Franc 2012

Westover Cab FrancPurchased from the Westover Tasting Room, around $20

Aaron:  Thankfully not all the Westover bottles have gone bad (we have a lot of Chardonnays which just aren’t good anymore).  This had a great nose with lots of berry and dark fruit.  Flavor is full and slightly sweet but the tannins are a bit sharp.  I like the taste but the bite is a little troubling.  Full and soft on the tongue but the swallow can be spiny if you don’t let it sit and mellow out in your mouth.  93 points

Teri: A dark raspberry color with medium/quick legs on the glass make way to a blackberry pie smell. The dark rich flavors of this wine (chocolate, blackberry, and nutmeg) are smooth and slightly jammy–perfect for those who like those bold but smooth red wines. Dark, rich, and easy to drink…this bottle is a great find all around. 92 points 


Kennedy Shah Cabernet Franc 2008 Reserve Rattlesnake Hills

Kennedy Shah Cab FrancWoodhouse Wine, $45

Aaron: This was a splurge for us and worth it in my opinion.  The very full flavor was mesmerizing and intense flavors flooded the palate.  Earth was the predominant flavor, coupled with almond overtones.  There’s a punch of spice right before the finish, followed by a gentle blend of oak and blueberry.  This was complex and enjoyable.  92 points

Teri: A full bodied wine with earthy flavors of almond, sage, and smoke followed by a smooth finish of dark raspberry. Bold but not overpowering. I found this extremely smooth and complex for a cab franc. 92 points 

MontGras Reserva Cabernet Franc 2011

MontGras Reserva Cabernet Frac 2011Purchased from BevMo, $19.95

MontGras Website

Aaron:  I really liked the full smell of this cab franc (and to be fair I’m a fan of cab franc’s in general).  Tobacco and oak twirled around luscious berries and let to a smooth but full flavor.  The mild tannins were a good compliment to the vanilla and spicy fruits – note, not “spice” but fruitiness.  I love the taste. 93 Points

Teri: I did not expect this wine from Chile! Most bottles I have enjoyed from Chile have a heavier mineral flavor due to the climate, but this bottle was full of blackberry juice flavors blended perfectly with peppery earth and a beautiful full body. It was juicy, fruity, and earthy all at one plus being smoother than most Cab Franc’s. Go out and get this bottle wherever you can find it! 94 points 


Guilliams Cabernet Franc 2007

Purchased at Gilliam’s winery in Napa, $35. Small winery, only selective areas will carry this wine.

Aaron:  If ever there was an example of great wine selling, Guillians is it.  This very small, private winery was one of the highlights of our trip and reminded me why I prefer small vineyards.  This particular vintage was opened specially for us as the winemaker felt that there were some inconsistencies from year to year.  We tried it and fell in love.  It’s the first Cab Franc bottle that I’ve ever had and I would highly recommend it.  The flavors were full but not overbearing and the nose was very pleasant. 90 points

Teri: This wine holds a special place in my heart because of the story behind it. Searching for smaller private winery’s on our trip to Napa this one was suggested to us by the docent at the visitors center. We called ahead and made a reservation…directly with the wine maker herself, Shawn Gulliam. Shawn treated us like family spending over an hour with us talking about each of her wines, describing her wine making process, discussing the nature of the spring mountain region, and even opening up a few new bottles just for us. I have had only tasted a few Cab Franc in my life and this one was by far the best. It had a nice full body flavor of darker berries with a smooth lingering finish and a hint of oak. If you have a chance, visit Shawn Gilliam in the spring mountain region of Napa and prepare to be impressed. 88 points 
Information on Guilliam’s Viniards:
tasting by appointment only