There I was just sitting minding my own business, reading my Wine Spectator magazine, and what should my wondering eyes behold but a story about the bestselling imported Cabernet Franc in Belgium. Turns out it’s from a vineyard on Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York, Fox Run Vineyards. Bells and whistles started going off in my brain.
Belgium is not a wine power house by any means, however, one wine they do pretty well is Cabernet Franc. They also have a wine culture. Something I have learned from talking with other bloggers who are trying to build an import or export wine business in a country that has a wine culture is that it is a very difficult thing to do. Locals will simply drink local wines. They always have, they know the good producers, and they are generally less expensive than imported wines. So, this Cab Franc must be pretty good to gather a following in Belgium.
The second bell that was ringing reminded me that I have contacts, “friends” who live in upstate New York who travel frequently back and forth from Connecticut, so this wine was obtainable. So we have a unique wine which I can get my hands on, and it just so happens that I love Cabernet Franc, wow a trifecta!
Still, more research was required. Fox Run turns out to be one of the best wineries on the East Coast. That’s according to Carlo DeVito’s Complete Guide from Maine to Virginia East Cost Wineries. The vineyard is owned by Scott Osborn, who made his bones working on vineyards in Long Island. The winemaker is Peter Bell, and their team has produced several award-winning wines, including an outstanding Pinot Noir and several Rieslings. By the way, I’d compare a Riesling from the Finger Lakes Region in New York to any Riesling made anywhere in the world. If you can find them, try them, they are that good.
Another tumbler clicks into place.
I phoned a close friend and asked them to get me a bottle of the Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir, which they did. Now as you know, I am a man who loves a bargain, and oh my god was the wine super affordable. I ended up getting a noteworthy wine from a award winning vineyard for about the same cost as a big factory wine. BAM!
Next, I needed to arrange transportation. 4th Quarter Business Reviews are scheduled and my wine has a ride home in my boss’s car, this is getting better and better. Dashing though the season’s first Nor’easter, Joe delivers my wine. But wait, there’s more!
My care-package from the frozen tundra of Rochester also includes a Cabernet Franc from the Billsboro Winery. Billsboro is owned by Dr. Robert “Bob” Pool, who is a VIP in the Finger Lakes Region. He is in charge of vine management and research for the state of New York and makes some outstanding wine of his own when he is not teaching at Cornell University, Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
Also included were two bottles of homemade wine; an Amarone Red and a Super Tuscan. Everything arrived just in time for my birthday!
I’m happier than a bar fly in a Lees pile! You can’t build a wine addiction like mine without many enablers, God bless them.
Oh, speaking of the wine, the Belgians are right, this is a really good wine. The color is a classic rich red. There is a slight European nose, no fruit bomb here, just warmth and comfort, which is nice on a winter’s night. Take a sip and you’re met with a mouth full of berries in a French style, a kiss on the lips not a slap on the side of your head. You can definitely taste the oak. The finish is nice and dry, and I love a dry wine.
I want to visit this vineyard, maybe next fall, as they list a few other wines I want to try. Lemberger for example. You hear the name and, if you;re like me, I bet your thinking cheese, and cheese would go well with this wine; a signature red of Germany. They also have a wine called Sable which they call a “soft red” and a Meritage red blend. They also have a Gewurztraminer I would like to try.
This is all great fun for me. It’s very cool to experience a local vineyard giving an Upstate New York interpretation to Northern European red wines and doing a great job of it. And to my friends who enable me to be the Lovable Little Fuzz Ball Wine Blogger.