Maker: St. Julian, Paw Paw, Michigan, USA
Grape: Cabernet Franc (at least 85%)
Place of origin: Sandland Farms (Nathan & Julie Nitz), GDN Estate (Ron Nitz), Lake Michigan Shore AVA, Michigan, USA
Purchased for $23
Appearance: Dark ruby.
Nose: Blackberry jam, black cherry, a whiff of oak.
Palate: Crushed bramble berries, pink peppercorn, leather.
Finish: Balanced with fruit, acid, and tannin.
Parting words: Cabernet Franc is one of the great workhorse red wine grapes of the world, but as longtime readers know, it can make excellent varietal wines as well. This is a great example. There’s loads of fruit and acid with a little spice as the only trace of the infamous bell pepper aromas that can show themselves in poorly made Cab Franc.
St. Julian puts too much energy into making a bewildering assortment of forgettable wines, but the Braganini Reserve line is almost always a good glass of wine. This is no exception. This wine is probably at its peak now, but it could probably go for another year or two if you are so moved. Braganini Reserve 2017 Cabernet Franc is recommended.