Shaw Cabernet Franc “Reserve” 2013: $25 Very Good+

Is Steve Shaw having a mid-life crisis? Or is he just ready to shake things up?  Shaw usually ages his red wine in oak barrels for years, then bottles it in dark green bottles.  After that, the wine may well rest in his cellars for additional years.  You can still buy the Shaw 2007 Keuka Hill Reserve in wine shops.  

This  bottle is unoaked, released less than two years after the vintage, and is in a clear bottle.  Mon dieu!  What’s up Steve?

The Shaw Vineyard Cabernet Franc “Unoaked, Reserve” (Finger Lakes, NY) 2013 $25 [Very Good+] is a juicy, rich Cabernet Franc with meaty/figgy flavors.  There is a fair amount of gritty tannin, so this wine should be put away for a couple of years or decanted before drinking.  For oenophiles, it is fun to drink a rich unoaked version of Cabernet Franc, to get to the essence of the grape, unmasked by vanilla, toast and other artifacts of oak aging.

Medium ruby in color, the aromas are ripe, rich, and brooding.  Warm raspberry and cassis fruit leads off, with substantial accents of fig, roasted meat, fresh tobacco and a hint of mint.  Medium to full bodied, with lots of gritty/gripping tannin, the Shaw is on the soft side.  Substantial flavors of raspberry, cassis, fig, fresh tobacco, pepper and earth are very attractive.  The finish is gritty and persistent.  Flavors linger.  August 2015


© Douglas Hillstrom 2014