Sunday, February 28, 2016

Wine Review: Veramar Vineyard 2014 Cabernet Franc

Veramar Vineyard 2014 Cabernet Franc

"Decanter Magazine awards the family its seventh consecutive medal for Cabernet Franc, competing against the best wines in the world." That's what the Veramar Vineyard's website ( has to say about their Cabernet Franc. And, as somebody that reads Decanter far more often than the other wine rating and news sites, I'm impressed. I'm also a big fan of Cabernet Franc so I'm a little giddy. I've been looking forward to this one.

Veramar Vineyards 2014 Cabernet Franc is the final portion of a three-part Virginia wine series. The other ones are Bogadi Bodega & Vineyard 2014 Seyval Blanc and James Charles 2014 Viognier. All three of those guys (James Charles, Bogadi and Veramar) are products of the Bogady family. So far their other wines have been amazing. Crap, this entire month has been a home run for wine reviews. Everything has been received a 4 out of 5 or more. I highly doubt that the month will end on a bad note. Right? Right????

James Charles Bogady's parents came over to America from the Italian Alps, and his family in the old country still runs a small vineyard. So James thought he'd carry out his family tradition in Virginia. He bought his first vineyard in 1995, and in 2000 he and his wife Della founded Veramar Vineyards. Their son Justin became the winemaker in 2001.

Blues Musician Taj Mahal
Tonight I felt like I need some blues in my life so I turned on B.B. King's Bluesville channel on Sirius XM. The first song to come on was Taj Mahal's Going Up To The Country, Paint My Mailbox. I almost spit out my ice water when he said, and I shit you not, "I'm goin' up to Virginia where there ain't nobody else around." Coincidences are fun.

Now I know I can go off-topic at times... alright, almost every time. But this one I think is extremely important. After writing these reviews and before this one was published it was brought to my attention by a follower on Twitter that Virginia isn't really for ALL lovers. They've joined Tennessee and Arizona as states that legally justify being a homophobic, bigoted dickwad. I can't stand for that. These states are devolving beyond reason and I cannot support them in any way. However, I do realize that not everybody in these states agree with these laws. I'm not going to let it affect my thoughts on Veramar's wine and I do apologize to them for bringing this up in a review of their delicious wines. But I had to say something.

Do me a favor. If you would refuse to serve a customer because of their sexuality then leave this page and never come back. Unfollow me on whatever social media you follow me on. I don't want to serve you either.

This is 100% Cabernet Franc, baby. That's what I like to hear. I love my buddy Franc as a blender and, even though I'm terrible at blind tasting, I can usually pick it up even at the lowest percentages. But when it comes to Cabernet Franc named as the varietal I especially like it to be all Franc. Why? It's that I want the full experience of this particular grape. A splash of backbone from Cabernet Sauvignon benefits Merlot, a splash of lushness from Merlot benefits Cabernet Sauvignon. That's cool and most of the time you absolutely need a blender or two (or four), but I get excited when a Cabernet Franc is all Cabernet Franc.

That said, I won't complain at all if it's got other grapes blended in there. Not a peep. I prefer my steak bleeding but if it's cooked more than that I'll still eat it without any issues. I'm not sending it back to the kitchen. The steak is still a steak and it's still going to be delicious. That Cabernet Franc is still Cabernet Franc and I'm still going to appreciate it.

Blizzard Wizard Ice Melt
One of the ways I can so successfully pick out a wine with trace amounts of Franc in it is this one aroma that I can only describe as "ice melt". Ya know, the salt stuff us northerners throw down during the winter so we don't fall down and break our crowns. It's a very distinct kind of earthiness that I've only experienced in Franc, and this one has it oozing right out of the glass.

Another aroma that I get so often on Franc is tomato leaf, also present here. There's also aromas of cherries, plums and a little flick of anise.

It's on the lighter side in body weight but the tannin munches on saliva like the Langoliers munch on the past. There's flavors of plum, tart cranberry, sand and cedar. The finish is very dry with flavors of sand and citrus peel. It seems to me like a southern-France style of Cabernet Franc, as opposed to the Loire or California styles.

This is a damn fine Cabernet Franc that I really adored. But hey, it's $30 and I don't rate things by how much I like them. Instead I rate them by how much I think their price tag justifies how much I like them. I didn't feel like I would pay my last $30 on a bottle (Highly Recommended, 5/5) or that it's a bargain that you shouldn't pass up if you can afford it (Recommended, 4/5), but I also thought it was more than just being worth it (Satisfying, 3/5). So I'm giving this a 3.5 out of 5 in price vs. quality between Satisfying and Recommended. Good stuff.

Cabernet Franc fanatics such as myself should think about picking one up just so they can experience a proven and respected Franc from Virginia... if you can get past the state's support of bigotry.

Price: $30
Rating: 3.5/5 = Satisfying / Recommended (what does that mean?)

The bottle used was supplied free of charge for the purpose of this unpaid review. To have your wine reviewed follow this link.


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