John’s January Pick of the Month

By Posted on Jan 28 2011 | By

Chester Gap Cellars Cabernet Franc Goes Deep

“We’re having rack of lamb tonight,” my wife, Jean, advises.  It’s my cue to select a wine from our cellar and get the fireplace going, both enjoyable tasks that will culminate in a cozy evening at home.

With the fire roaring, I turn my attention to the wine that will accompany our Australian rack of lamb, roasted red bliss potatoes with rosemary and hericot vert green beans sautéed in olive oil with sliced almonds and a dash of crushed garlic.  My selection for the full-bodied repast verily jumps out of my wine rack: Chester Gap Cellars 2008 Cabernet Franc.

I’ve enjoyed Chester Gap Cellars wines from the day the winery opened. Owner and winemaker Bernd Jung produces clean, artisanal wines with depth and spot-on varietal character.  His ’08 Cabernet Franc is one of my favorites.  It pours an almost inky garnet in the glass and releases aromatic notes of mint, cherry, smoke and spice.  I force myself to swirl and sniff rather than just start drinking; easy boy, easy.

On the palate, the nose has faithfully interpreted the rich, mouth filling black fruit, mint and subtle coffee notes, all framed by smooth tannins.  We enjoy a glass before dinner and relish the rest of the bottle with the lamb.  With our food, the wine jumps into overdrive and we both exchange smiles of pleasure.  Is this Napa Valley in a Virginia bottle?  Not a chance.  This is Old Dominion wine at its best.

Published in the Spring edition of Virginia Wine Lovers magazine.

Categories : WINE ARTICLES