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Walk on by the wine display: Not this time

Posted on: September 18th, 2012 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

Admittedly, most wine snobs don’t pick up random wine bottles that are scattered around in grocery store displays, of all places!  Rather, they prefer to browse shelves loaded with thousands of bottles, then making selections only after very careful consideration.

But every so often there comes a little slap-in-the-face.  After falling in love with a well-priced wine list selection at a nice restaurant, it appears at the grocery wine display near the Produce Section.  Oh well, it happens.

This time, it was at Fry’s.  After walking by an end cap display, with Franciscan Cabernet Sauvignon up on the top shelf, for the umpteenth time, there it stands, the wine that everybody raved about out to dinner last Saturday night.  Umm, no biggie, eat crow and pick it up, and nobody will be the wiser.

And for $22.99 it’s really an excellent selection.  In some previous vintages, Franciscan Cabs came off with really coarse tannins and a big overpowering structure, but not so with the ’08.  It is well balanced right from the start with a bouquet of dark berries and smoke-laced cedar and a hint of dust.  It continues on with nicely structured tannins and well-defined acid balance that results in a well rounded sensation on the palate.  Very Napa, and an excellent example of this fine vintage.

Also, it’s a perfect follow through after years of such big wines that some of us even played around blending them with Merlots in the kitchen before serving in a carafe.  Not necessary this time; right from the bottle, the ’08 is their best in years.  An excellent shopping cart drop-in at a Phoenix Fry’s wine display!

Enjoy with a big steak after appetizers paired with Chardonnay (Chard and Cab, a long-time Napa standard).  Serve after 40 minutes in the fridge (55-60 degrees).  A cooler presentation temperature will compliment its structure.  As a bonus, this puppy will probably rack until 2017 and become smoky mellow as it ages.

Article by Tom Peiffer, Phoenix Wine Shopping Examiner at Examiner.com

View more of Tom’s articles on Examiner.com by visiting his writer’s page.

About the Author - Tom Peiffer

Tom has been an avid wine consumer and collector for over 20 years. This pastime has taken he and his family on many visits to wine growing regions, including Arizona. During these excursions, with the accompanying tastings and lectures, it became clear that there is no "magic bullet" wine. For each wine contains its own character, strong points, and weaknesses. Sharing these experiences to help anyone purchase locally available wines is his goal.

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