Sunday, July 01, 2018

Onabay Cabernet Franc 2014 Beautiful (NY)


For whatever reason, I don't get to drink Onabay wines all that often. But I have also never been disappointed.

Onabay Vineyards is now more than 20 years old, is part of a larger, historic farm owned by the Anderson family. The total farm is more than 180 acres. Nineteen of their acres are dedicated to growing the Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Chardonnay grapes. Onabay combines original plantings from the 1990s with more recent high density plantings.

Two generations of Andersons are now involved in artisanal winemaking. Brad Anderson is leads a talented team, including vintner Bruce Schneider, winemaker/grape grower John Leo, and viticulturalist, Bill Ackermann. Francesca Anderson, renowned botanical artist, created the drawings of herons that make the Onabay labels so distinctive. Daughter, Mia C. Anderson's poems also grace the labels. Chiara Anderson Edmands oversees the marketing of Onabay Vineyards.

Onabay Cabernet Franc Cot-Fermented 2014 is made from 84% cabernet franc and 16% malbec. More than 400 cases were made. The Cab Franc and Malbec were harvested on the same day, and co-fermented. The wine then went through a malo-lactic conversion in barrel the wine aged for fifteen months in seasoned French oak.

Wine Advocate rated it 89 Points, adding, "In its youth, this is a young Cab Franc that is tight and a little tense just now. With air, the tannins increase in strength. The high acidity provides some silkiness in texture and the finish is rather gripping between the tannins and acidity. It is not a particularly deep Cab Franc, its power winning out over the fruit to a considerable extent, but in its youth it is adequate at its price range. There is fruit there and the juicy finish makes it flavorful, although it is very dry. The finish shows some complexity of flavor, too, laced with a little black olive and beef. This is a good competitor to the 2013 (not that I have them side-by-side) and a bargain-priced offering, but you will have to like acidity and cooler-climate wines. It grew on me slowly, but I came to like it a lot. It will be interesting to see how it develops with a little cellaring--or, if it does. It is worth leaning up on this right now, though. It is impressive on many fronts if it is in your style."

I agree completely. This wine grew on me as I sipped my glass. Bu the time the glass was finished, I missed the wine. Beautiful fruit, with cherry and dark raspberry and cassis, a beautiful, beautiful wine.