Occasionally, I walk into a local wine shop and simply say, “Give me something unique and fabulous under $40.” This time it was Manhattan Fine Wines and they did not disappoint. Always up for the challenge, the proprietor handed me a bottle of the 2018 Viraje Cabernet Franc from Uco Valley. They’re the only shop in the United States with access to it and, while there is generally something special about a 100% Cabernet Franc, this one in particular made my eyebrows rise. Those who follow our blog know my excitement over small production vineyards in Uco Valley, Argentina.
Argentina is well known for Malbec and for good reason, they’re phenomenal, but Argentina has so much more to offer both in terroir and varietal.
Viraje was new to me . . . so new it was challenging to search for it on the Internet. This of course made the experience even more exciting. Initially the wine was tightly wound but after an hour of decanting, it presented beautifully. Cabernet Franc thrives in cooler, higher altitude vineyards which is exactly what Uco Valley provides. Rich and voluptuous displaying ripe berries, cassis, and dark plum flavors with the signature green pepper and herbal tones that make Cab Francs sing.
I’m looking forward to seeing what Manhattan Fine Wines offers up on my next challenge. And for those of you in the States looking for a similar experience but are outside the Los Angeles area, reach for a bottle of Zuccardi 2018 Poligonos del Valle de Uco San Pablo Cabernet Franc. It’s accessible given its large production and a great buy. Happy hunting!
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