Clear garnet with thin edges. Initial bottle-funk blows off with a little air revealing dark candied sugar, mint and spice. Still, warm and round, it brings a certain dessert edginess to the forefront of clean Sonoma fruit. While not particularly complex, it shows beautiful balance and elegance intensifying the rather simple concentration of dusty nuances.
Obviously, this is about a 15-20 dollar bottle of supermarket wine which the producers never intended for almost-10 years of age. But therein lies the beauty of some of these solid bottlings from solid producers–even if sourced from chain-shelves for bargain prices. One of my favorite subjects is *cheap wines which can age* and St. Francis is one of them. Sealed under a synthetic cork, my hopes were not great. But it shines with a glow underwriting the fact SOME wines–well-bought–can age elegantly despite their mediocre provenance and ridiculously low price-point. I love buying these little appellation-centric wines–especially when chains decide to discount them 60-75% in favor of more general ‘California’ bottlings from the same labels. Longs/Rite Aid/CVS are the culprits here, as corporate structure demands they rid themselves of Sonoma or Napa offerings in favor of far more general label-designations.
In the mouth, simple dark cherry is at about peak alongside resolved tannins. No patina to speak of is visible–and that’s a good thing, as cheap wines typically get acidic and shallow as their tannin out-lives the fruit. All is merely filed under the category of smooth balance loveliness. Bright and spicy, the still-alive tannins curl the palate and wash everything away in sweet nectar. A beautiful wine, still very much alive and ridiculously enjoyable.
2007 ST. FRANCIS Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon 14.6