2005 Wildekrans Cabernet Franc-Merlot: Mixed opinion, and be sure to decant

if anyone can tell me where we can get a pure cabernet franc around here other than the chinon they sell at winetree, then we'd be extremely happy. i was in chicago recently and was fortunate enough to find a saumur at binny's in lincoln park. saumur is a cabernet franc from saumur, a town in the loire valley, and it was the only one that massive wine store had. once we popped this frenchman open, it was consistently green pepperish, earthy and definitely refreshing. we paired it with roasted butternut squash, red onions, pototoes, red peppers and lightly pan-fried chicken breasts. it was wonderful and, unfortunately, pretty much impossible -- at this time -- to find around here.

greg and i were so impressed with the saumur that we decided we'd go on a hunt for cabernet franc in evansville. i went to varsity liquors, kwiq liquor, schnucks in newburgh, and winetree, but all i could find was a blend of a 2005 wildekrans cabernet franc and merlot from ... south africa. on first taste, this 89 percent cabernet franc and 11 percent merlot was musty and earthy, yet quite smooth. we decanted it, which seemed to help the fruit in the wine waft a bit above the rim of the glass. the mustiness hung around for a while before it finally disappeared, but this winetree purchase was still smooth and slightly fruity. this was definitely an interesting bottle, mostly because the texture was a gentle, pleasant bridge between the two flavors. and it's possible the smooth texture might have been its saving grace after all.

greg, meanwhile, was simultaneously drinking this wine and shaking his head. he just didn't like the flavors, and he said it was sour. so i don't think we'll be getting this 13.5 percent alcohol bottle again -- which is too bad, since i don't think it's a bad bottle at all. but if you do get this: decant, decant, decant.

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