A Cabernet Franc I Will Never Forget

After spending the day preparing for my trip to the North East, last Wednesday evening my partner and I had opened a bottle of Gold Hill Vineyard’s 2008 Cabernet Franc. We each had a glass and though we enjoyed it, we both noted that it was sweeter than other Cab Franc’s we had tasted.

The Cabernet Franc’s we’ve had in the past have tended to be drier and more herbal than fruity.  This 2008 wine is very fruity, tasting of plum and berries, and noticeably sweet. It is a wine with lower levels of tannin.  It has a nice full mouth feel and is smooth to drink with a distinctive nutmeg finish. We both liked it. The bottle was re-corked and I fully expected it to be gone long before I returned.

The next morning, my partner dropped me off at the airport and he headed off to work. Unbeknownst to me at the time, my partner had a heart attack that morning. Fortunately, he did manage to get to the emergency room and was admitted in time. I received the news on landing in Boston and spent only 25 minutes on the ground before returning to the Bay Area. After a couple of days in the hospital, he is home recovering, facing a couple of months of follow up care and recuperation.

Last night, a pleasantly warm evening after a hot day, we re-opened that same bottle of Cab Franc and stood on the deck looking out over our view of Oakland. The air was warm, and the breeze off the bay was cool on our skin. The wine’s smooth tannins had faded slightly, tasting somewhat more fruity and seeming a little sweeter.It was perfect. It was the wine were sharing to celebrate life: his life, our life together.

Standing side by side, our arms touching, sharing the moment, sharing the wine, enjoying the view, the flavor of this wine was indelibly imprinted on my mind. It will be forever associated in my mind with immense gratitude for the opportunity to continue our lives together into the future, for all of our family, friends and neighbors who pitched in, helping my partner, coordinating communications and helping out.  The Gold Hill ’08 Cabernet Franc is a hell of a good wine, perhaps the best I ever had because of that very moment.

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About dslocicero

David is an author and architect living in the San Francisco Bay Area. He writes about wine, food and travel. His first book is Pour Me Another: An Opinionated Guide to Gold Country Wines, now one of the highest rated books about California Wines.

One thought on “A Cabernet Franc I Will Never Forget

  • Emily

    I love stories like this – about Cabernet Franc, about life, about moments preserved in flavor memories. Flavor and smell memories are HUGELY powerful! For this we don’t change the menu at Thanksgiving, and love to make our old-fave recipes even those with an out-of-date ingredient.

    I’m not surprised the Cabernet Franc in that bottle tasted better not just because of the heartwarming – literally – circumstances but this wonderful varietal has a delicate relationship with oxygen (as your heart does!) and evolves so much in bottle. I’m still learning about my own wine I released almost 2 years ago–every time I open one in different conditions… A happy accident caused me to learn to delay gratification and let it open up slowly to fully express not just the bright berry flavors but the depth that unfolds from within – all pretty cool.

    I confess my SOP – open, pour into glass coffee pot (hey, it’s got a great pour spout) then back into bottle in AM, ready to shine at dinner in PM. Try it on that 2008 Gold Hill. Sounds like a case likely on order!

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