the vine yard Cabernet Franc - ~$8

Fresh & Easy threw me for a bit of a loop today. Scanning the wine shelves I came across … a Cabernet Franc! This is not a common varietal bottling here in the U.S. Hell, it’s not a “varietal” at all in France, where it’s mostly grown, the French not being the varietal sort.

But back to the bottle in question. The annoyingly truncated name – “the vine yard,” yes, all in lower case – is a bit of a hurdle, but beyond that the label tells us that the grapes come from Washington state’s Columbia Valley. Many good wines come out of the Columbia Valley, but this is not one of them. It’s not that it’s a bad wine, it’s more that it’s not that much of a wine at all. A good Cab Franc (for which you’ll pay $20+ for the California version, truth be told) is redolent of earthy herbal notes on the nose and offers cranberry-like fruit and tea on the palate. The nose for this wine was grapey with a hint, at most, of violets (this after a few samplings over an hour). The palate was likewise innocuous, with a bit of dry, briary fruit toward the end.

C’mon, it’s Fresh & Easy. At this price, you can do better than this bland offering.


Drinkability: 3/10
Price: 3.5/5
Total value: 6.5/15

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