Winery/Vineyard: Baily Vineyard & Winery
Product/Varietal: 100% Cabernet Franc
AVA on Bottle: Temecula Valley
Winemaker: Phil Baily
87/100 on Cellar Tracker.
Silver at 2019 Harvest Challenge.
Gold at 2019 San Francisco International Wine Competition.
Bronze at 2020 New World International Wine Competition.
3 of 5 stars (user rating) on Wine Searcher.
3.9 out of 5 stars on Vivino (all vintages).
How They Describe It
As the parent grape of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc’s spicy notes and peppery finish pairs nicely with red meat dishes; especially grilled steaks, burgers and tri-tip!
How I Describe It
Baily’s 2016 Cab Franc is garnet in hue with medium color intensity. While Cabernet Franc’s color shifts easily with air exposure, Phil Baily‘s winemaking style seems to involve generous time in oak. The porous wood allows tiny amounts of oxygen to mingle with the aging wine more easily than bottle aging. The result is both the color shift, as well as more mature flavors in the wine, as we see below.
Leading off, mahogany and leather blend with cherry and currant. Vanilla and nutmeg form a spicy bond with black pepper, rosemary, pine, and tobacco. Herbaceous notes of green olive, asparagus, and a touch of fresh garlic are only noticeable when deeply considering the aromas. However, roses and violets case a constant floral perfume.
The Baily 2016 Cabernet Franc features dried cherries, juicy raspberry, and currant. However, wrapped among the fruit are elements of freshly cut wood, black pepper, tobacco, and bittersweet chocolate. Nutmeg, green olive, and asparagus flavors integrate into eucalyptus and pine needles. Leather and graphite make up a beautiful finish.
The 2016 Cab Franc is a dry wine. Alcohol content is high (14.2% ABV), while acidity is medium and tannins are high. All together, the wine is medium-plus bodied, with medium-plus flavor intensity, and a medium-plus finish.
Why is This Wine Special?
Cabernet Franc is an amazing grape. In addition its strength both as a stand-alone varietal and as a blending grape, it is the genetic parent of at least four major French varietals. While the wine incorporates delicate floral and herbal notes, in the Old World it thrives in two separate appellations with very different climates — Bordeaux and The Loire. And it even thrives in warmer, sunnier New World regions, like the Temecula Valley AVA.
Baily Winery does a terrific job crafting its Cabernet Franc. The flavor profile aligns well with what drinkers can expect from the varietal, while embracing the fuller body Temecula wines often possess. While fruit expression is more than adequate, the Baily 2016 Cabernet Franc showcases flavors and aromas which only come from skillful oak barrel aging and maturation.
Typical of well-crafted four-year-old Cabernet Francs, this is a wine you can drink now, but which absolutely has potential for continued aging.
When & How I Would Drink It
Cabernet Franc has a similar berry and spice payload as Cabernet Sauvignon, while bringing a slightly less robust body as well as delicate floral notes. As a result, the Baily 2016 Cabernet Franc is ideal for grilled lighter meats. Throwing turkey legs or brined chicken on grill and slathering with barbecue sauce would complement the Cab Franc’s flavor nicely.
For darker meats, try pork loin or lamb. The slightly lighter body of the protein won’t risk overpowering the Cab Franc, while the richness of the meat would complement the wine’s darker flavors.
That said, you might be able to get away with pairing the 2016 Cab Franc with a nice T-bone or ribeye because of its oak exposure and higher alcohol content. The former adds deep, rich flavors while the latter contributes a fuller body, aligning the wine well with heavier proteins.
How to Get It
Order Online: https://bailywinery.com/product/cabernet-franc
Bottle Price: $35.00 (discounts wine club members)
Cases Produced: 401 cases
Have you tried the Baily 2016 Cabernet Franc? How did the tasting notes compare with your experience? Leave a comment below.