To Blend or Not to Blend
To blend or not to blend? It’s a grape question. Cabernet Franc and Pugnitello are interesting blending grapes, but the Cab Franc does surprisingly well on its own. This week, we’re featuring a couple Co-op favorites that boast these exquisite blending grapes.
2014 San Felice Chianti Classico
Producer: Societa Agricola San Felice SPA
Varietal: 80% Sangiovese, 10% Colorino, 10% Pugnitello
Back in stock with a new vintage, this Co-op best-seller is deep ruby red with aromas of dark cherry, raspberry, and sweet violets mixed with sweet oak. It’s medium-bodied and well balanced, with a long and polished finish. What’s interesting about this Chianti is not the ever-present Sangiovese, but the Pugnitello grape, recently rediscovered by San Felice, cut and grafted from an unfamiliar vine on the side of a barn in Italy. The illustrious Black Rooster makes this wine tough to miss, at a price that’s impossible to resist. Pair with your favorite pizza or a bowl of pasta to transport yourself to the hills of Tuscany.
2013 Bourgueil Rouge “20” Cabernet Franc
Producer: Domaine des Ouches
Varietal: 100% Cabernet Franc
Region: Loire Valley
The Gambier family has owned and farmed Cabernet Franc at Domaine des Ouches for eight generations. Typically a blending grape, Cabernet Franc stands alone, and stands out, in this 2013 Bourgueil Rouge “20”. Wine drinkers in the Pacific Northwest gravitate toward the Cab Franc and its perfumed soil flavor once their taste buds have been introduced. This wine is fresh and lively on the palate, with a bouquet of currants, cherries, and savory herbs. Pair with red meat or grilled poultry.