Producer: Unionville Vineyards
Region: New Jersey
Vineyard: Amwell Ridge (Estate)
Blend: 86% cabernet franc, 14% cabernet sauvignon
Winemaking Notes: 22 months in neutral French oak 
BV: 13%
Price: $33*

* Review sample provided by the winery

Unionville Vineyards 2016 Amwell Ridge Vineyard Cabernet Franc

Unionville Vineyards 2016 Amwell Ridge Vineyard Cabernet Franc

90 points

As prominent and as important as cabernet franc is in eastern vineyards, it feels like the wineries have a long way to go in terms of defining what "East Coast cabernet franc" means or is. Styles vary widely not only from state to state and district to district but even within individual cellars as winemakers get more comfortable with the grape's personality. Gone – for the most part – are the days of winemakers beating cabernet franc into submission with long-term aging in new oak, but styles still run the gamut.

That said, extended time in neutral oak is something that a few wineries are experimenting with, including this pretty, silky example from one of New Jersey's top producers.

Sweet red raspberry and blackberry aromas are accented by notes of cherry pit and a savory minty-herb note in the background.

Medium-bodied with a juicy, rather than tannic, feel, the palate is similarly brambly with hints of red cherry, classic cabernet franc woodsy spice and a savory herbal note way in the back. The finish is long and balances sweet cherry with those savory qualities.

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.