Michael David Inkblot Cabernet Franc Warms a Chilly Day
Sunday. Gray day.
It was the first cold, drizzly, hoodie-sweatshirt day of Fall. Time to put away the patio wines of Summer.
We welcomed the chill by firing up the smoker and opening a wine big enough to wrap us up in its warmth–same as my hoodie.
Inkblot 2010, from Michael David Winery in Lodi, California was my choice.
Made from Cabernet Franc grapes from a 9-acre vineyard more than 25 years old, the vines sit just outside the door of this Certified Green winery.
Michael David is co-owned by brothers Michael and David Phillips, whose Great Great Grandparents established the Phillips farms after the Civil War. The Inkblot wines were originally produced in very limited amounts, and made available only to wine club members–wine drinkers looking for unusual and ultra-concentrated wines. In 2009 however, the winery decided to start producing enough to make some available to larger markets.
And I am happier for that!
Cabernet Franc calls France’s Bordeaux region and Loire Valley home where it can thrive in cooler climates, producing medium bodied wines with herbal notes. Here in Lodi, where the climate is warmer, it can become dark and full of concentrated fruit.
This 2010 Cabernet Franc release adds small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah. The result is a dark, yes inky, glass-staining garnet color. Aromas are heavenly, full of smoke, blueberry jam, black cherry and liberal sprinkles of cinnamon.
The wine carries a whopping alcohol content of 15.2%–the very source of warmth I was seeking. But this Cabernet Franc does not alcohol-bomb the palate. It retains an elegant yet concentrated character full of violets, blueberry and raspberries, along with fruit-settling graphite and smoke. The finish is long and warm, with gentle tannins.
The chilly dampness seemed to vanish as I drank this warming, soul-satisfying Inkblot Cabernet Franc.