There are a handful of single vineyard offerings here on Long Island. Sometimes I wish there would be a few more. It would give people an opportunity to understand terrior and how the slightest slope of the land, how thinning of the leaves or the way the sun hits the vineyard in the morning affects the fruit of the vine.
When Joe Roberts better known as the dude at “1 Wine Dude” came up with the idea of a “Single’s Night”. I wanted to jump all over it. Sure, the task would be pricy, but well worth it. The object of this 75th edition of “Wine Blogging Wednesday” was to crack open that single vineyard bottle of wine and talk about it.
When Joe announced it, I knew what I was going for. In my opinion this is the ultimate single vineyard offering from a vineyard. Just 12 rows of Cabernet franc. The eastern most 12 rows if you visit their tasting room on Sound Avenue. 12 rows of Cabernet franc maintained by Gabby Pisacano, father of co-owner Rich Pisacano. Hence, this is where the name Gabby’s Franc comes from.
“It was the winter of 2005, Gabby had been working under Rich, tending to the red wines vines that grow on the Roanoke Vineyards site on Sound Avenue in Riverhead. Gabby had a thought and he demanded that he take over the 12 eastern most rows of Cabernet Franc. You can see those rows from the tasting room; off the side patio look to the vines and the 12 rows in front of you are Gabby’s. Rich really had no choice, and he gave those rows to his father. Gabby is the only one who tends to the vines, no one else touches the fruit.” ”Gabby’s thought on the Cabernet Franc is a simple thought, that he could manage the “Twelve Rows” as they are widely known, “if he ultra-manicured the vines, so that each grape had perfect exposure to the sun and wind, and that there was plenty of space around the fruit for the breeze to circulate, his rows would avoid any disease pressure and ultimately deliver pristine fruit.” that according to his bio on Roanoke Vineyards website.”
Gabby’s Franc has a bit of a cult following. It is released each year on his birthday, September 25. There is about 100 cases made each year. By the end of the weekend, it is always sold out. Only to make appearances from time to time at special tastings, to wine club members and of course in the Roanoke Vineyards Library.
Tasting this wine tonight with little time to open is not doing it justice. Roanoke Vineyards 2008 ‘Gabby’s” Cabernet Franc ($39). This wine will last for days in bottle as you can note from my 2006 and 2007 notes and posts.
Tonight on the nose I was picking up notes of raspberry, cherry, spice and smoke. Those aroma’s were lifting out of the glass along with hints of tobacco, sweet cedar and clove. Some sweet vanilla and hints of what I will describe as wine cellar come out. I love that aroma.
The palate brings more earth and spice with hints of cherry, and raspberry with mint and dried bay leaf. Fresh ground coffee, exotic spice and dried oregano blend on the palate.
Packed with food friendly acidity and well integrated tannin this wine has the potential to age a while.
If you are a franc head like me, this is a wine you cannot miss out on. There is a sing up list for the 2009 Gabby’s which will be released in September. Sign up for some. It is worth it.
Special thanks to the Dude for hosting and big thanks to Lenn Thompson over at the New York Cork Report for coming up with this idea over 75 months ago!
On a side note, there is a special post that is related to this wine that I will publish at Easter. It is about my last Easter meal with my family that my Grandfather was at. About a week after Easter 2011 he died. This bottle of Gabby’s 2008 Cabernet Franc was open at the table and this was the last wine he ever had.
- Red Newt Cellars 2008 Glacier Ridge Vineyards Merlot (newyorkcorkreport.com)
- #WBW75 “Singles Night”: Pinot From Alto, By Way Of Norse Mythology (1winedude.com)