Each vintage is a new beginning, and, as always, in 2012 we reviewed and challenged our vineyard and cellar techniques to raise the quality bar.
We decided to tighten up our already-strict selection criteria and raise the hurdle for any barrel to make it into the final blends of our flagship wines: Père de Famille and Clos de Betz, our three Syrahs and Bésoleil. The new standards have reduced the amount of these wines and provide the ability to take overall quality to the next level. Barrels that don’t make it into our flagship wines have been blended to make Cuvée Frangin; barrels that don’t meet our new rigorous criteria are sold off as usual.
With the rich texture of the 2012 vintage there was an easy affinity of the varieties; Cuvée Frangin melds the layered complexity of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot with the supple mouthfeel of Syrah. These individual varieties have long been separate parts of our collection; with Cuvée Frangin they weave together to provide a compelling richness and balance.
Barrels were specifically selected to complement the varied character of each other, as well as integrate to create an earlier maturing, easily accessible red wine.
Cuvée Frangin, or “CF” as we call it in the cellar, starts with an appealing deep, dark red core and lively ruby-colored edge, reflecting its youth and vitality.
Smoky dark plums and candied black raspberry dominate the nose, hinting at its Rhonish roots, but then the gravel, dried thyme and soft leather kick in, the Bordeaux influence. They play well with each other, creating a layered, complex aromatic impression.
Cabernet takes over on the palate, delivering a vibrant, polished mouthful that demands attention. This structure is softened by plentiful ripe black cherry and plums, with a hint of toffee and leather, making the mouthfeel supple and plump.
There’s a sense of weight to Cuvee Frangin, yet it still dances and satisfies. Berries, cherries, smoke, plums, wood, dust, toast, gravel---lots of fun to blend, even better to enjoy. It is designed to be enjoyed younger but will age for several years.