Producer: Raphael
Region: North Fork of Long Island AVA (but labeled New York State)
Blend: 100% cabernet franc
ABV: 12.4%
Price: $22*

* Review sample provided by the winery

Raphael 2016 Cabernet Franc

87 points

Raphael winemaker Anthony Nappa has a way with this grape. He seems to know when to push the extraction and intensity, making reserve-level wines and when to take his foot off of the gas, use less (or no) new oak and go for a juicier, fresher style. This wine is the latter, with a nose that smells like just-crushed red raspberries and blackberries with hints of sweet black licorice and a briny, sea air note.

Medium-light bodied, this is the kind of juicy, food-friendly red I like having on hand for a wide array of foods. Red raspberries dominate, but there are notes of earth, vanilla, dried herbs and black olive on the palate too. The acidity is fresh and well-integrated, combining with medium-intensity tannins to frame that melange of flavors nicely.

Don’t be fooled by the “New York State” on the front label either. This wine was made with 100% percent North Fork grapes.

About Author

Lenn Thompson, a proud Pittsburgh, PA native, moved to Long Island more than a decade ago and quickly fell in love with the region’s dynamic and emerging wine community. A digital and content marketing and community professional by day, he founded in early 2004 to share his passion for the wines, beers and spirits of New York State. After running that site -- which became the premier source for independent New York wine commentary, reviews and news -- for 12 years, he launched in late 2016 to add the wines of Virginia, Maryland, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Vermont and beyond to his beat. Lenn currently serves as the wine columnist for The Suffolk Times weekly newspaper and is the former editor of the Long Island Wine Gazette. He contributes or has contributed to publications like Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Beverage Media, Edible Brooklyn, Edible East End and Edible Hudson Valley. Lenn served on the board of directors for Drink Local Wine, and is the creator and founder of TasteCamp, an annual regional wine immersion conference for writers and trade. An admitted riesling and cabernet franc fanatic, he’s intensely passionate about eating local and the many local wine regions of America. Lenn lives in Miller Place, NY with his wife Nena, son Jackson, daughter Anna and their dog, Casey Lemieux Thompson.

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