Monday, April 16, 2012

Millbrook Proprieter's Special Reserve Cabernet Franc `08 $30.00 ***

I am lucky that I live in New York. There is so much to explore.  For the past few months, I've been traveling to Albany for my day job and with proper planning, I can swing by the Culinary Institute of America on the way, have a delicious meal and discover some local wine. It was during my February lunch at St. Andrew's Cafe at the CIA that I had Millbrook's Tocai Fruilano `10 for the first time.  I liked it so much that I decided to add Millbrook to my list of vineyards to visit (and maybe buy a bottle or two).

Just 15 miles from the CIA's Hyde Park Campus, it was easy to squeeze in a visit after my late March lunch at Ristorante Caterina de' Medici.  After following signs and driving past some beautiful farmland. (my euphemism for getting totally lost - I have NO sense of direction) An hour later, I turned to drive up the hill to Millbrook, a founding NY State Vineyard in the Hudson River Region AVA.

After a quick walk around, I stopped in the tasting room and bought a bottle of the Fruilano and this bottle of Proprietor's Special Reserve Cabernet Franc.  I ♥ Cabernet Franc. Which, as I could tell from my first glass, so do the Proprietor's John & Kathe Dyson.  The ♥ is a play on words/symbols, because at one point in his long varied career in public service for NY State, Mr. Dyson developed the "I ♥ NY" advertising campaign (it is featured on the back label of this Cabernet Franc). Millbrook Vineyard is a testimony to a love of New York State and wine - I hope to make more visits in the future.

Meanwhile back to the Cabernet Franc.  Winemaker John Graziano has been crafting Millbrook wine since 1984. In this Cabernet Franc, he has created a true to varietal wine, it is 95% home grown Cabernet Franc and 5% Merlot. It is also just 13% ETOH, which makes it a classic in my book - I am sometimes scared of really alcoholic red wines (although I can far too easily be persuaded... Australian Shiraz, you have provided me with many wonderful evenings and many heavy headed morning afters...).  This Cabernet Franc could easily be a go to sipping wine for me.  Black cherry, hints of cedar, full of fruit with a nice finish. Well balanced and delicious.

The only reason it didn't get four stars from me is because $30.00 is beyond my price range for a bottle of every day wine.  I don't begrudge the cost though. It is well worth it.  Only 450 cases were produced.  It is truly special artisan wine.  According to the the informative back label (another win in my book) the grapes were harvested October 21 - 24, 2008. I was in Seattle when they were harvesting those grapes.  As the grapes were pressed, blended and put away to age, I had a kidney transplant, quit my job and moved to the suburbs.  I like perspective in my wine and my life.  It is nice to know that Millbrook is around to add their perspective - it's a beautiful one.

Pictures from my March visit:

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