Palumbo 2015 Cabernet Franc

Palumbo 2015 Cabernet Franc

Winery: Palumbo Family Vineyards & Winery
Product/Varietal: Cabernet Franc
Vintage: 2015
AVA on Bottle: Temecula Valley
Winemaker: Nick Palumbo

Rating: 93

Wine Enthusiast awarded the 2014 vintage 89 points.
4.0 out of 5 on Vivino
90.5 on CellarTracker

How They Describe It

Our Estate wines are produced from the original vineyards directly surrounding our small, family run winery located in the Temecula Valley AVA. Our very limited and strictly allocated Cabernet Franc comes from the vines known to us as “Catfish Vineyards.” This vineyard has a reputation of exceptional quality that we are proud to share with you.

How I Describe It

In the core of the glass, this wine is a medium-pale ruby with hues of purple. Its age is beginning to show, with orangey garnet along the rim.

Like most well-made Cabernet Francs, Palumbo’s 2015 vintage has a complex assemblage of aromas, spanning fruit, spice, floral, and oak. The first scents detected are roses and violets, followed by raspberry, cranberry, and blackberry. There is an herbal eucalyptus note, along with black pepper spice and stony minerality to round out the primary aromas. The wine’s exposure to oak manifests as cedar with a hint of smoke, vaguely reminiscent of Pinotage. And the time in the bottle reveals undertones of truffle mushroom, wet leaves, and forest floor.

Palumbo Winery’s 2015 Cabernet Franc features a wonderful bouquet of flavors. Black cherry, blackberry, and cranberry are at the forefront, along with black pepper, nutmeg, and cedar (the latter two coming from oak barrel aging). As with the nose, the wine is rosy, and has a minerality evocative of wet stone. The wine’s age comes across with subtle hints of brett (farmyard), along with wet leaves, forest floor, and truffle.

This is a dry wine with gripping medium-plus tannins. Medium-plus acid keeps the wine’s flavors bright. At 13.5% ABV, the alcohol content is considered medium, which contributes heavily to the wine’s medium body (particularly by Temecula standards). That said, the wine has medium-plus intensity and finish, leaving pleasant fruit and perfume lingering for some time.

Why is This Wine Special?

It’s rare I get to gush about both great wine and great winemakers. Husband and wife team Nick and Cindy Palumbo simply are exceptional, nice people. They’re thought leaders in the community, and the passion they pour into their wine, their winery and their vineyards is clearly visible. Simply put, they deserve recognition.

Truthfully, this wine surprised me. It’s remarkably well balanced, and features hallmark Cabernet Franc flavors better than nearly any Temecula wine I’ve sampled. How the owners produced such a terrific dry, full-bodied wine, at such a relatively low alcohol content, is a testament to their talent.

For the avid collector, the Palumbo 2015 Cabernet Franc is one of those wines worth buying by the case. It already has a few years of maturity under it, but it can clearly age for many more. And with only 115 cases produced, it’s an extremely rare find.

When & How I Would Drink It

As with most full-bodied, bold wines, the 2015 Cabernet Franc pairs well with red meats, stews, charcuterie, and cured meats. There is a unique brightness in this wine, which along with its complexity makes for a terrific stand-alone drink. It works both on a warm afternoon or in a cool evening.

How to Get It

Order Online: No online orders. Extremely limited supply. Call tasting room at (951) 676-7900 or email

Bottle Price: $52

Cases Produced: 115


Have you tried the Palumbo 2015 Cabernet Franc? How did the tasting notes compare with your experience? Leave a comment below.

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