Thank you, Mr. Jefferson! 2009 Jefferson Vineyards Cabernet Franc, Charlottesville, VA

Happy [late] Birthday, America!  You don’t look a day over 234.  On the anniversary of the signing of that most excellent document authored by Thomas Jefferson, I thought it appropriate to open a wine that bears the Founding Father’s name.  Along with his duties as Founding Father, T.J. was convinced that his little corner of Central Virginia could produce fine wine(s).  I think it’s fair to say that over 200 years later, both the nation and the wine industry Mr. Jefferson helped create have done O.K.  Here’s my take on one of the latter:

I poured the Jefferson Vineyards Cabernet Franc through the Vinturi into the decanter and let it breathe for about half an hour before pouring.

Initially, the nose was mostly chocolate/cocoa powder.  There was also a bit of an earthiness or wet wood and a slight hint of tobacco.

On the palate, cocoa powder ruled the day.  Some wood smoke popped through a bit, as well, along with an unidentifiable dark fruit that brought an almost citrus-like acid and some floral notes.  The first few sips of this wine were a bit confusing and not quite as enjoyable as I had hoped.  We popped this one later in the evening, so our dinner guests only had a small sip or two before making their escape from the Corkpit; The Rib and I stuck with this bottle and I’m glad we did…

An hour and a half into this wine, cherry fruit began to emerge, both on the nose and the palate. The tannins were smooth and supple from the beginning and remained so throughout the bottle.  Since the chocolate/cocoa powder never dissipated, the palate on the Jefferson Cab Franc reminded me of a sinful dessert at a top-notch dining establishment.  This wine evolved to present a beautiful cherry chocolate experience that was a pleasure to drink.  I am sorry that our guests left before this wine fully expressed itself in the glass.

The Jefferson Vineyards Cabernet Franc didn’t represent the best expression of the grape ever, but this wine was more than enjoyable.  At $18, this is a nice little bottle of wine.  I would absolutely recommend decanting this wine before serving—probably for 2-3 hours.  It got better with each sip after 90 minutes or so.  The blurb on the bottle recommends pairing with game meats; I agree, provided you keep a lot of game meats around.  If you enjoy Cabernet Franc (or haven’t had this varietal before and would like to try something different), give this wine a go.

From the Corkpit,


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