Matthews 2003 Conner Lee Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Franc (Columbia Valley (WA))

This is surely the most ambitious Cabernet Franc/Conner Lee wine ever made, and it's priced accordingly. I love the purity, the focus and the way it plays across the palate; it's a real high-wire act. Cab Franc does not lend itself to either elegance or completeness as a varietal grape, which is why it is almost always blended. But here it is the whole show, and it's razzle dazzle all the way. Ripe blackberry and black cherry fruit is framed in spice and tannin, with a sweetness rarely found. The finishing notes of fresh roasted coffee and mocha linger sensuously in the back of the mouth. A rare mix of delicacy and power. Paul Gregutt

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