The truth is, Herve Fabre’s Cabernet Franc – for years – has been my secret weapon. While his Malbec steals all the glory, it’s long been Herve’s belief that Cabernet Franc is one of the grapes of the future that will continue Argentina’s ascend on the world stage. His own Cabernet Franc in particular proves his point.
Hand harvested in small trays to avoid bruising any of the fruit, the results are amazing. More than half the Cabernet Franc that comes in is rejected, prioritizing only the best grapes. This makes for a super energetic Cabernet with juicy red and black fruits, and the signature dash of a mint on the finish. It’s insanely good.
But with Herve and Fabre Montmayou wracking up NYT features, huge scores, gold medals and lifetime achievement awards, I’m left with one choice: get in as soon as possible or get left in the dust. Especially, when you have a wine that is as ridiculously highly decorated as this one.
The expert reviews on this little number are insane. 90 points and a ‘Best Buy’ designate from Wine Enthusiast, 90 more from Suckling. Ditto from Vinous who called this “young, firm, with well-worked tannins and good structure”. But in a crowded see of nearly 20,000 wines at the Decanter Wine Awards in 2022 – this stole the show. The only 95-point, Gold medal Cabernet that you can get for under $20/bottle, its second straight year in the most rarified air.
95 Points (Gold Medal), Decanter Magazine
Dark and brooding, with plush aromas of dark fruit and black spice, while the palate is laced with earthy fruit and graceful rolling tannins.
90 Points (Best Buy), Wine Enthusiast
A nose of berries and herbs guide the senses to a savory palate, delivering flavors of green bell pepper and strawberry intertwined. Barrel-driven spice notes are well integrated. A good structure and balancing acidity provide a pleasant mouthfeel.
90 Points, Vinous
From Alto Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo, the 2021 Cabernet Franc Reserva was 60% aged in barrels. Garnet red in hue. The nose presents ash and red pepper notes with elegant hints of redcurrant. In the mouth, it’s compact with a taut texture and young, firm, well-worked tannins and good structure. Will improve in the bottle.
90 Points, James Suckling
Blackberries, black raspberries, cocoa powder, walnuts and dried herbs on the nose. Fragrant and gently herbal, with a full body and firm, fine tannins. Best in 2024.
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