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ironstone cab francYesterday in a blog post I was lamenting the preferences of wine consumers who like generic, homogenized wine instead of seeking something more interesting. This wine under review proves that if you’re willing to spend only $10-$12 on a bottle of wine, you are not condemned to the sweet- smooth-soft swill inhabiting the bottom shelf at the supermarket.

This Cabernet Franc  has the twiggy, green aroma note characteristic of this grape, but the layer of smoke and hints of coffee supporting the berry aromas give the nose plenty of depth. In the mouth, it is full bodied, firm, and steadfast with a slight chew to the tannins (meaning the finish makes you want to chew the wine as if it had some solidity.) The finish is medium length but features very bright berry notes that carry all the way through to the end. The finish is usually where inexpensive wine falls apart. This wine delivers from front to back. As we near December and the time for taking stock of the past year, this is a candidate for my budget wine of the year. Superb value at this price.

Don’t ignore Cabernet Franc when you see it on the shelf. It has many of the characteristics of Cabernet Sauvignon but the grapes are less costly so they often offer good value.

This wine calls for some straightforward, sturdy Heartland Rock, tough but with some finesse. Here’s a great clip from The Boss when he was young and “Growing Up”

Score: 88

Price: $12

Alc: 13.5%

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