Today the 12 Days of Cabernet Franc swings back west, Sonoma to be exact. Gundlach Bundschu has a storied history that reaches back as far as 1858, when it started as Rhinefarm. Far more recently, in 2001, they made the decision to focus exclusively on the production of Estate Wines. They also use sustainable practices, considering themselves caretakers of the land. The 2006 Gundlach Bundschu Cabernet Franc has 8% Syrah blended in. Fruit was sourced from a single block that was planted in 1999. This wine spent 15 months in French oak, with 35% of it being new. 743 cases of this offering were produced, and the suggested retail price is $38.
What was immediately obvious about this wine, is that it needed some time to really open up. It was pretty tight out of the bottle, and decanting for at least an hour, is my recommendation, two wouldn't hurt. After that though, it really began to express itself. The effusive nose showed plum pudding and fruitcake spice notes as well as dark berry fruit. The medium bodied palate, was filled with cherry, leather, and light bramble notes. The finish is a terrific one, featuring berry, building earth (increases as it opens up), spice, and a touch of chicory. This wine is well structured and has firm acidity. An excellent food wine.
This 2006 Franc from Gundlach Bundschu has the elements that I most think of when this great varietal comes to mind. The big, expressive nose, and solid core of fruit, really shine through. This wine is very enjoyable now, after decanting. However my recommendation, if you can wait, is to lay it down for a year or two. That should be enough time to really bring everything together, so this wine is at it's peak.
Up Next: The 12 Days of Cabernet Franc Continues !