Behind the Cork™ - Robert Young Cabernet Franc


Robert Young Alexander Valley ‘Big Rock Block’ Cabernet Franc ($65)

This one’s a real treat. Alexander Valley is a favorite of mine and this Cabernet Franc from Robert Young Estate Winery is an exceptional example of the Alexander Valley wines.

I picked this one up during my 2018 visit to Alexander Valley. I was familiar with the wineries along the main road. But, for my final stop of the trip, I decided to go off the main road and check out Robert Young. I didn’t know anything about their wines so I went in with no expectations. Then, I was blown away.

Along with this delicious Cabernet Franc, I also tried their Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petite Verdot. They were all outstanding and I brought home one of each!

This ‘Big Rock Block’ Cabernet Franc is rich and complex with wonderful dark fruit flavors and oak aging that makes for an amazing wine with low tannin and a long smooth finish.

While my “Behind the Cork™” features are often wines that are easily affordable and easily attainable, this Robert Young Cabernet Franc is a bit pricier and you’ll probably only find it at the winery, but it’s a tremendous find that will be featured in the “Great Wines” page of the website.

If you get the opportunity to be in Alexander Valley, take the short trip off the main road and visit Robert Young Estate. It’s well worth the visit! Cheers!

More On the Amazing Sauvignon Blanc Grape

The Sauvignon Blanc grape is one of the most widely planted wine grapes in the world.  While the Sauvignon Blanc grape is most famously associated with the France's Loire Valley regions of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, it most likely originated in Bordeaux. Today, this versatile grape is successfully producing great wines throughout the world including Italy, Spain, Ukraine, Romania, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Chile, Argentina, and the United States.

Like many other grapes with "Blanc" in their name, it is a light-skinned grape that produces white wine. The literal translation of "Blanc" is white while "Sauvignon" is derived from the French word sauvage, which means wild, because the grape grew like a weed throughout the region. So, Sauvignon Blanc is a wild white grape.

Sauvignon Blanc, like many other wines, can take on different flavors depending on where it is grown. In France's Loire Valley it tends to have the distinctive flavors of freshly cut grass, green apples, lime, kiwi, green melon, gooseberry and earthy minerals associated with the regions limestone soil.  In France's Bordeaux region, Sauvignon Blanc can have flavors of white peach, lemon curd, and nectarine. But when grown in cooler climates like New Zealand, the Sauvignon Blanc grape produces wines with flavors of pink grapefruit, lemon, lime and passion fruit. Regardless of the region, Sauvignon Blanc is a highly acidic wine, but considered light-bodied.

In somewhat of a twist, the Sauvignon Blanc grape, that produces white wine, naturally crossbred with the Cabernet Franc grape, that produces red wine, during the 18th century in Bordeaux to create what we now call Cabernet Sauvignon. Both the parent and the offspring have become two of the most widely planted wine-producing grapes in the world.

So, there you go. Sauvignon Blanc is a nice, tangy, "zingy" wine that can be enjoyed on its own or with a variety of meals. And, by the way, it's a great beginner's wine. Give it a try! Cheers!

Behind the Cork™ Wine of the Week - Simi Sauvignon Blanc ($13)

This Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc has zesty notes of tangerine, lime and grapefruit.  It is produced in stainless steel tanks that retain the refreshing, full and vibrant fruity flavors of the wine.