I am thrilled to see a bottle of Cabernet Franc coming out of Argentina. This grape varietal is grown in limited quantities in South America, and it’s mostly used in blends. It is one of the least famous of the Bordeaux varietals for those not familiar with Cab Franc: Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and Merlot having much much name recognition.
This bottling is a great place to get acquainted with this varietal. The aromatics are complex and intriguing. Anise and dark fruit are layered with cut grass, mint, wildflowers, and smoke. The tannins are rounded out but with some grip, and the body is medium-full—bitter chocolate and dark fruit on the palate, with a hint of eucalyptus. The finish moves toward a rusty herb note and follows through with earthy cinnamon.
For a pairing, this is lovely with shepherd’s pie or even a chicken pot pie. It also works very well with beef stews, especially ones with a bit of bay leaf in the broth.
The Familia Durigutti winery is one of the up-and-coming wineries in Argentina. It is run by two winemaking brothers, Hector and Pablo Durigutti. I was first introduced to Hector’s wines when he ran the ship at Altos Las Hormigas, where he made some fun and inexpensive wines, including my favorite Bonarda. At the same time, his brother Pablo was making some world-class Malbecs at Bodega Sur de Los Andes. It’s great to see them working together, and from what I have seen so far, Durigutti is on the path to great success.