A required entry on your next Costco shopping list, the Franciscan Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.
Established in 1973, Franciscan has been devoted to producing wines of true character for over four decades. Each vintage, we craft our wines to express the best qualities from our top California vineyards.
This is a wine we've recommended for a number of years but it seems to have had an interesting evolution as of late. As recently as the 2016 vintage all the fruit was from Napa County. And going back farther than that is was designated as Napa Valley. This 2017 vintage is actually 86% Monterey County and only 14% Napa County. The upcoming 2018 vintage appears to be all Monterey County.
The price, or at least the Costco price, has seem to adjust appropriately as well going from around $19 to closer to $16 as the sourcing of this wine has changed. Of course, at the end of the day we don't really care where it comes from just how good it is, so let's check this one out!
The 2017 Franciscan Cabernet Sauvignon begins with simply wonderful aromas of blackberry, plum, vanilla, dried herbs, violets and a little toasty oak. Basically the more you smell this one, the more you find! The wine tastes rich, smooth and silky and has plenty of oak influence as well as plenty of delicious plum and blackberry fruit. You'll also get a wonderful full, dry mouthfeel. It ends dry, fruity and fantastic with good length and lots of lingering vanilla as well as a little spice.
The verdict? This vintage has a bit more oak than we remember and maybe isn't quite as balanced as previous years, but it sure is delicious and very approachable/quaffable without sacrificing complexity. Still Highly Recommended!