Kelby James Russell Cabernet Franc 2015: $20 Good+ to Very Good

The Kelby James Russell Cabernet Franc (Finger Lakes, NY) 2015 $20 [Good+ to Very Good] is an outlier in the 2015 vintage.  While nearly all the Cabernet Franc wines from this year are supple and drinking well now, this bottle is a bit raw and hard-edged.  A relatively short time in wood and the use of a Stelvin (screw cap) closure may be factors.  Based on the wine’s promising aromatics and its unyielding character after a day in the fridge, I would recommend waiting a year or two to open this bottle.  There is potential here.

Medium ruby in color, there is a green bell/green pickle note immediately after opening which blows off.  Aromas of black cherry, raspberry, mint, green herbal notes, cola, tobacco, and smoky mineral are interesting and shapeshift as the wine airs.  Medium bodied, with medium intense tough tannin, balance is good.  At the moment, the wine has a hard-edged mouth feel.  Flavors of raspberry, black cherry, green herbs, and a smoky/stony note are inflected with a little bitterness.  The finish is tough and roughly tannic, with some bitterness and good  to very good length.  July 2017


© Douglas Hillstrom 2014