Mission Codename Loco Franco
Happy Cabernet Franc Day!
And what better way to celebrate this often overlooked, yet seriously significant PARENT of Cabernet Sauvignon than WITH an exhilarating 93 point, $19 bargain from Catena?
This one left us speechless. Actually, wrong. It’s all we could talk about at the recent tasting. Things like “No way.” and “Oh MY…you said $19?!” and “I need a second pour”.
In fact, it’s hard to remember a more crowd pleasing, uniformly loved red priced like this.
Of course, that’s just how we roll. Thanks to our super tight relationship with this world famous producer we landed this insane deal on this single vineyard Franc to share with you.
The promoter of all good things wine, Catena leads the way in Argentinean and global wine culture. With this bottling they show the lesser-known sub-appellations of Mendoza, like San Carlos, can deliver stunning representations of terroir.
And talk about terroir: altitude without attitude. We’re talking 4,000 feet vineyards here that impart so much character into their wines that they are famously complex. Jancis Robinson writes “Altitude has become the big status symbol among Mendoza’s wine producers, each daring to plant slightly higher than his neighbour. Vineyards are commonly higher than 1,000m (in much of Europe 500m is thought of as an upper limit to reliable ripening) and vines are now being planted as high as 1,500m… international investors in the new, high wine country of Mendoza include Allied Domecq; Concha y Toro of Chile; Kendall Jackson of California; Jacques and François Lurton, Pernod Ricard and Michel Rolland of France… and, reputedly, a bunch of Walt Disney executives. They can’t all be wrong.”
But Catena was already there!
IN the Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate article this was rated in they assert “Catena is one of the quality leaders in Argentina… one of the pioneers: They were the first to plant vineyards in Gualtallary, nowadays considered one of the highest potential zones in the country, but they were deemed crazy when they planted there. The wines are phenomenal, true to their place and vintage…”
And their varietal! The color is this dizzyingly bright purple cherry red thing. The nose is intoxicatingly floral with crushed violets, raspberry leaf, candied cherries, and cocoa dust. So much PURITY of fruit. Super lively and refreshing for a red, the palate is full of vibrance, echoing the red and black fruits along with a savory and mineral element that gives the wine serious depth for the money. The finish leaves you begging for a next sip as it unfolds again and again. Many pairings could work, but we can’t stop dreaming of duck, Peking or with orange, classic confit, or how about duck fat fries! You get the drift.
Crazy endeavors, crazy deliciousness, crazy pairings, crazy value… when will all this madness end?
Easy. When this sells out!
93 Points – James Suckling
“This variety looks at home here, showing a fresh edge of light herbs across red berries and red plums. The palate has a very seamless, supple feel and a fresh, elegant yet long finish. Good depth here. Drink or hold.”
92 Points – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“Very good freshness and very good integration of the oak, which is quite transparent and lets the character of the cool place come through in a more precise way. It’s easily identifiable as Cabernet Franc, it’s integrated and it makes you salivate. Drink 2019-2023.”
Crushed violets, raspberry leaf, candied cherry, cocoa
The color is this dizzyingly bright purple cherry red thing
Intoxicating crushed violets, raspberry leaf, candied cherries, cocoa dust
Super lively and refreshing, red and black fruits, savory and mineral
Leaves you begging for a next sip as it unfolds again and again
Duck: Peking, with orange, classic confit, or duck fat fries!
What the Winery Says
2018 San Carlos Cabernet Franc
- Wine Director
- Alejandro Vigil
- Ernesto Bajda
- 100% Cabernet Franc
- San Carlos, Mendoza, Argentina
- El Cepillo
- 3,960 feet above sea level
- Clay, silt, sand
- 2.4 tons
- Total acidity
- 5.74 g/l
- Residual sugar
- 1.8 g/L
- 12 months
- 100% new French oak