If you have not visited Lamoreaux Landing yet, you really should. The views of Seneca Lake are breathtakingly gorgeous, and the Tasting Room is equally as beautiful. In addition, I have yet to find a wine from this winery that I dislike! Although it has been a few years since I have visited, I was immediately drawn to a tasting they were hosting at my local Liquor Store (Hoffends in Victor, NY for those who are local).
A gentleman named Kevin asked me if I wanted to taste, and of course I said, “Yes!” The most memorable sample I had was the T23 Unoaked Cabernet Franc. I was drawn to this wine for a variety of reasons. First, Cabernet Franc is the red varietal “bread and butter” of the Finger Lakes Region. Almost every producer grows this varietal, and for good reason. Cabernet Franc does exceptionally well in cool climates. Another reason for my interest, was that I have rarely seen an unoaked Cabernet Franc. What is this rare creature? I must find out! Lastly, what in the world did T23 mean?
Kevin informed me that T23 is the name of the stainless steel tank that they used to ferment the wine. So one inquiry down. For some reason I had high hopes that T23 was some sort of crazy wine robot like a C-3PO (any Star Wars fans out there?!).
Second, what were the characteristics of this unoaked Cabernet Franc? I found the wine to have wonderful aromas of cloves, currants and anise with rich flavors of fresh plums and blackberries. There was a typical spice on the back of my tongue that I would expect from a Cabernet Franc, but it was not as prominent in comparison to the oaked versions of the varietal I have tasted. The wine was very fruit forward, and I’ll admit; if given a blind taste test, I might have pegged this wine as a Merlot! However, the wine was noticeably lighter in body; and not necessarily in a bad way! In fact, I paired this on Mother’s Day with a home cooked meal by my lovely husband Brennan. We had chicken Parmesan and I found the pairing to be delightful. The wine reminds me a lot of the Cabernet Francs you would find from the Loire Valley, in France; another cool climate growing region.
Morale of this story? One, never pass up a FLX wine tasting at a local Liquor store. Two, don’t be afraid of stainless steel, unoaked reds! They are different, but different in a good way.