Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Wine:Raphael 2005 Cabernet Franc  (North Fork of Long Island)


2005 Cabernet Franc
(North Fork of Long Island)

To oak or not to oak, that is the question for many Long Island winemakers when it comes to Cabernet Franc. Some wineries try to make Cab Franc into something that it's not – Cabernet Sauvignon. They use too much oak and try to extract too much from the grapes. The result is often less than tasty.

And, much like local Sauvignon Blanc's subservient relationship to local Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc often plays second (or even third) fiddle to Merlot. With Raphael's 2005 Cabernet Franc, winemaker Richard Olsen-Harbich captures the ripeness of a tremendous vintage and purely expresses why this grape is so well suited to Long Island. And why many of my favorite wines are made with it.

This red is made somewhat in the style of those from the Loire valley, meaning it is made without oak. The resulting wine very well may be my favorite local red under $20. The nose is loaded with red cherries and raspberries that are accented by floral spice and earthy notes. The palate is richly flavorful with cherry, spice and earth and pleasant structure – the result of acidity and skin tannin rather than overbearing oak. A pleasure to drink and highly versatile at the table.

Reviewed June 13, 2007 by Lenn Thompson.

The Wine

Winery: Raphael
Vintage: 2005
Wine: Cabernet Franc
Appellation: North Fork of Long Island
Grape: Cabernet Franc
Price: 750ml $18.00

Review Date: 6/13/2007

The Reviewer

Lenn Thompson

Lenn Thompson writes about New York wines for Dan's Papers,
Long Island Press, Long Island Wine Gazette, Edible East End
and Two words describe his taste in wine — balance and nuance. Lenn prefers food-friendly, elegant wines to jammy, over-extracted fruit bombs and heavy-handed oak. When reviewing, Lenn tastes each wine three times — alone right after opening, with food, and again the next day — believing that 90-second reviews are unrealistic and not how the average person enjoys wine.