Today’s Story: Alpha Omega
I talked about Alpha Omega’s origins in a prior post (A Napa Take On Chablis), though will reproduce it briefly here.
Alpha Omega is the creation of Robin and Michelle Baggett following their move to Napa Valley in 2006. Though Robin began his foray into wine much earlier, in 1988 as a grape grower and in 1998 by starting Tolosa Winery, Michelle worked in the design and development of hospitality brands before the couple culminated their pursuits into Alpha Omega.
The winery, as I mentioned before, is known for their red wines and particularly high-quality single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. However, we have a couple bottles of the Cabernet Franc, a limited bottling I can no longer find online, that I thought would be fun to review prior to reviewing one of their single vineyard Cabs. Cab Franc is probably known to most as a blending grape for Bordeaux wines, however they are becoming much easier to find as a standalone wine.
For those of you relatively new to wine, Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc are the two parents of Cabernet Sauvignon. The cross occurred during the mid-1600s in southwestern France.
Today’s Wine: 2016 Cabernet Franc
100% Cabernet Franc; 15.5% ABV
This is a cool offering from Alpha Omega, as I did not know they released a Cabernet Franc specific wine. That being said, this does appear to be a limited release available to mailing list members since I cannot find anymore on their website or stores online.
In color, the wine is medium purple with pale purple/ruby variation toward the edges of the glass. I double decanted this bottle so it would be ready for dinner, and with the accelerated air it opened up nicely. On the nose, we have aromas of blackberry, blueberry, plum, lilac, leather, sweet tobacco, and oak. There is a slight hint of alcohol on the nose as well, likely due to its relatively high ABV. Once in the mouth, flavors on the palate include blackcurrant, blueberry jam, loamy earth, tobacco leaf, and black pepper. This medium-bodied red has medium (+) acidity, medium (+) tannins, and a long, dark-fruit-forward finish.
Price: $100. Given similar-priced, high-quality Cab Franc I’ve tried, I think this is worth the tag if you’re used to paying around $100 for your wine. Nonetheless, I recently tried some outstanding Cab Franc from Tuscany and Michigan for about 1/3 the price and I think you’d be well served trying more Cab Franc from these regions or Chile and Argentina. Pair this with beef, duck, or pork (we had it with bbq pork sandwiches).
If you would like to try some French Cab Franc, keep an eye out for some Chinon!