Tuesday, March 30, 2010

This just in: Wine Enthusiast loves 90+ Cab Franc

The Wine Enthusiast's unreserved blog has taken a crack at unlocking the secrets of Cabernet Franc. Unsurprisingly, the results are a bit more uneven than Eric Asimov's. Here's my response in WE's preferred point format:

97 points - for actually making a factually correct blog entry about Cab Franc

57 points - for writing, "The Loire offers a fantastic value for those looking to taste some predominantly or solely Cab Franc wines; we’re talking $20-$50 for what are in some cases 90+ point wines."

75 points - for the title "Go Franc Yourself"

91 points - for listing top producers like Baudry, Raffault, Joguet and Amirault

83 points - for starting the article by name dropping top Bordeaux producers despite the fact Cab Franc is an afterthought in most of the region

OK, it's a well intentioned article. But telling people to drink Loire Cab Franc by describing it as 90+ points for not too much money is, well, exactly what I'd expect from a wine magazine. Chinons are generally the opposite of 'pointy' wines; if they score a 90 or higher it's usually by accident. This reductionist approach undoes all the good of the previous paragraph that offers very useful descriptors about the wine. They might as well have written,
The wines are generally quite aromatic with notes of 90+ and 90+ as well as varying degrees of charming 90+, 90+, 90+, 90+ and 90+ notes. They are typically more rustic in 90+ character, providing a great alternative to some of the overblown 95+ fruit bombs that saturate the market today.
Wine Enthusiast could have avoided my internet tough guy wrath simply by saying Loire reds can be very high quality for not too much money. In other words, they're good values. Let's leave points out of the equation--they're for Napa Cabs and classified growths from Bordeaux.

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