Winery/Vineyard: Frangipani Estate Winery
Product/Varietal: 100% Cabernet Franc
AVA on Bottle: Temecula Valley
Winemaker: Don Frangipani
How They Describe It
Notes of ripe, dark fruit & chocolate that finishes with tannins and spices.
How I Describe It
The previous leader has been dethroned. With medium color intensity, Frangipani’s 2015 Cabernet Franc is the most orangey garnet wine rated to date on Temecula Wine Ratings.
While the wine has a clear redness, we happened to have a young (<2 years old) Syrah open at the same time. Comparing the wines side-by-side, the 2015 Cabernet Franc’s age was significant and obvious.
Cabernet Franc wines are notorious for featuring multiple layers of aromas, and this wine is no exception. The wine is heavy with black fruits like black currant, plum, and black cherry. However, the most apparent smells seem to come from the wine’s age: leather-bound books, must, forest floor, mushroom, and turned earth. Green bell pepper and freshly cut grass blend with lavender and black pepper. Live cedar wood and a touch of aged cheese round out a twinkle of blood orange.
Raisin and dried cherry lead alongside blackberry and black cherry. The same vegetal and herbal notes from the nose — green bell pepper, grass, lavender, and black pepper — are easy to detect, as is the live, fresh cedar from oak aging. Yeasty brioche notes hint at time spent aging sur lie. And bottle age shows as leather, forest floors (fallen pine needles), and tobacco.
This is a bone dry wine, almost on par with Fino Sherry. High tannins, high alcohol (14.0% ABV), and medium-plus acid give the 2015 Cabernet Franc a medium-plus body. Flavors intensity is medium with a medium-plus finish emphasizing raisin and dried fruit.
Why is This Wine Special?
Frangipani Estate Winery is one of the most understated producers in the Temecula Valley AVA. Located on the De Portola Wine Trail, they neighbor Cougar Vineyard & Winery — in fact, there is a short walking trail connecting the two tasting rooms. They shrug off most marketing gimmicks, opting for rustic, minimalist elegance.
Owner/winemaker Don Frangipani is one of the original producers in the AVA, beginning his career with Cilurzo Winery, now Bella Vista Winery (future review coming soon). A decade later, he began producing wines under his own label.
Frangipani Winery’s 2015 Cabernet Franc is a clear display of their winemaker’s vision, “where reds are bold and full of character“. The raisin characteristics likely stem from pushing his grapes’ fruit development to their absolute limit. While some of the berries likely baked in the Temecula sun, their extended time on the vine allowed nuanced flavors to take shape.
When & How I Would Drink It
The 2015 Cabernet Franc begs to be paired with food. Alone, its intensity could be a lot. Rich, fatty, low sugar dishes will coax out the fruitier and herbal notes, and smooth out the gripping tannins. Think keto when it comes to choosing foods here: grilled steaks, stews, greasy lamb, and bison burgers would combine well.
How to Get It
Order: Call (951) 699-8845 for more info.
Bottle Price: $38 (discounts for wine club members)
Cases Produced: 155
Have you tried the Frangipani 2015 Cabernet Franc? How did the tasting notes compare with your experience? Leave a comment below.