As you know, here at CHW we’re wild about Cabernet Franc. The parent grape to Cabernet Sauvignon, it’s stylistically a chameleon depending on where you find it in the world, ranging from pyrazine bombs out of Chinon to fully-fruited, oak-blasted Napa variations, and plenty in between. However, plantings are much more scarce than their more popular (and profitable) offspring, so it’s always a treat when our treasure hunt leads us to a worthy contender. And what a star we have here.
Released April 11, 2023, Lot 883 2018 Napa Valley Cabernet Franc was sourced from Napa Valley’s St. Helena and Pope Valley AVAs, and crafted by a winery with over 40 years of experience, and a list of accolades a mile long. While Cabernet Franc is lively, spicy, and contains a lot of minerality in France’s Loire Valley, Napa Valley’s Mediterranean climate provides a richer, more robust expression of the grape while retaining the peppery spice notes on the nose, and Lot 883 is the pinnacle expression of that new-world style. At over $60/bottle under the source winery’s label, it’s yours today for half of that at just $34.
Lot 883 pours medium ruby in the glass, leading with red-toned fruit laced with pine and cedar, dusty minerals, and a pop of purple florals. On the palate, juicy plums, cassis, warm boysenberry compote, and chocolate shavings are backed by velvety tannins framing the warm-spiced fruit character followed by a flourish of crushed cocoa nibs and coffee beans on the finish. With 5 years already in the bottle, this wine is absolutely singing and would be a fantastic addition to a dinner party, or break out the BBQ and pair it with your favorite grilled meat dish.
Watch as Chris Lafleur, Sommeliers Creed for Cameron Hughes walks us through a tasting.