Lovely Sausage Stew, Quinoa, vegetable kugel, and current kosher Cabernet Franc wines

This past weekend I finally got around to something I have been planning for sometime, which was my Cabernet Franc Horizontal. To be fair, it was more like two horizontals, one for 2006 and one for 2007, along with a 2005 wine thrown in. So I guess I am using the term liberally, but hey, this is my blog! Anyway, the wines were quite lovely, with the only real loser being an a fore mentioned wine that was previously in a dumb period, and now I think it is just going down hill, that being the 2007 Hagafen Cabernet Franc. My deep love for all things Franc is clear and documented here.

That said, though the wines were great to exceptional, none of them exhibited anything Franc’ish. I say this because, there was almost no vegetal notes (even from Four gates), and little to no floral notes or even floral perfumes. Instead, what we had was deep and expressive wines that were nice, but more Cab’ish than Franc’ish. The common notes were, Oak/Cedar, Chocolate, Tobacco, and red fruit. There were a couple of wines with black fruit and rich flavors as well.

For the dinner we whipped up a lovely and killer recipe of my Sausage Stew, paired with quinoa, and a pan of lightly charred vegetable kugel. For starters I whipped up a pot of Brazilian Black Bean Soup. We have made this soup a few times already and the recipe is from the classic Mollie Katzen Moosewood Cookbook. The soup hit the spot given the colder temperature that has hit our area. We used lemon juice and honey instead of orange juice because we have a full tree of unused Myer lemons. The tartness of the lemons was offset by the honey and density of the beans, and it was a real winner.

I must repeat that the reason why we love the sausage stew so much is its clean flavors and crazy versatility. The recipe can be made 100% vegan, with or without soy sausage, and it can be made 100% carnivore, when using good sausages. The best part is that the recipe has no bones, no nasty fat and sinew, or inedible parts.  All in all, sausage stew makes for a tasty and enjoyable stew.  Finally, when I reheated the stew before the Sabbath, it looked a bit dry, so I added a half or full cup of rice milk.  It added some flavor and moisture.

The wines stood up quite nicely to the stew and I wanted to thank all the friends who were able to share the table with us.

The wine notes follow below in the order they were enjoyed:

2005 Four Gates Cabernet Franc – Score: B++ to A-
The nose on this purple colored wine is rich and bright with light tobacco, chocolate, dirt, oak, smoky notes, tart black cherry, raspberry, plum, garrigue, herbs. The mouth on this medium to full bodied wine is rich and mouth coating with nicely integrating tannin, dirt, plum, raspberry, and garrigue. The mid palate is bracing with acid, chocolate, tobacco, and plum. The finish is long and spicy with tobacco, chocolate, sweet oak, plum, raspberry, nice tannin, and more garrigue. The finish lingers long with garrigue, chocolate, tobacco, and plum. This bottle is doing fine, and has at least a year or more ahead of it.

2007 Hagafen Cabernet Franc Estate Bottled Napa Valley – Score: B+
This is Hagafen’s second release of a single varietal Cabernet Franc, the other one being the 1996 vintage. This is the third time tasting the wine and it is showing even worse than last time. The first time we tasted this wine, some two years ago, it was showing quite nicely. This time the wine’s body was OK, but the nose was absolutely non-existent.
The nose on this dark garnet to black colored wine showed zero nose other than some crushed herbs, along with tobacco and cedar. The mouth on this medium to full bodied starts off with mouth coating tannins, blackberry, raspberry, plum, and black cherry. The mid palate is packed with balancing acidity, nice cedar, chocolate, spice, nice tannins, and tobacco. The finish is medium long, with cedar, chocolate, vanilla, rich ripe plum, spice, and black fruit.

2006 Tanya Mount Bracha Reserve (Cabernet Franc) – Score: A–
The nose on this black colored wine is super rich with tobacco, dark chocolate, tar, cedar, vanilla, raspberry, blackcurrant, prunes to start – but after time it turns to plum, and light floral notes. The mouth on this medium to full bodied wine is quite rich and soft super mouth coating with rich blackcurrant, plum, black fruit, concentrated and layered, quite a lovely mouth. The mid palate is balanced with rich sweet cedar, tobacco, chocolate, nice acid, and more tannin. The finish is long, plush, and spicy with sweet cedar, tobacco, dark chocolate, vanilla, tar, floral notes, blackcurrant, and raspberry. This wine has a year or so left, and may well be at its peak.

2007 Gush Etzion Cabernet Franc – Score: B++ to A-
The nose on this impenetrable black colored wine is screaming with tobacco, chocolate, rich sweet cedar, licorice, herbs, spice, plum, cassis, raspberry, and blackcurrant. The mouth on this medium to full bodied wine is rich and concentrated with lovely plum, cassis, blackcurrant, soft and mouth coating tannin, crushed herbs, and spice. The mid palate is the weak link with medium acid, spice, cedar, tobacco, and nice tannin. The finish is long and spicy with rich chocolate, herbs, tobacco, spice, cassis, blackcurrant, and vanilla. The wine is in drink now mode, it is throwing sediment, and ready to enjoy.

2006 Four Gates Cabernet Franc – Score: A-
The nose on this purple colored wine starts off with rich raspberry, blackberry, red fruit, plum, black cherry, fresh mint, cloves, nice oak, chocolate, and tobacco. The mouth on this super bright and almost alive wine is mouth coating and concentrated with still integrating tannin, ripe blackberry, raspberry, red fruit, and cherry. The mid palate explodes with bracing acid that accentuates the mouth, chocolate, and oak. The finish is long and spicy with cloves, mint, rich chocolate, raspberry, blackberry, oak, and cloves. Quite a lovely wine and one that has at least three or more years in it.

2006 Recanati Cabernet Franc – Score: A-
The nose on this black colored wine has rich espresso coffee, tobacco, chocolate, loamy dirt, raspberry, black cherry, plum, light floral note, and oak. The mouth on this medium to full bodied wine is super rich and layered, with rich mouth coating tannin that is starting to integrate, raspberry, black cherry, plum, and nice dirt. The mid palate is truly balanced and rich with more tobacco, oak, raspberry, and dirt. The finish is long, rich, and layered with a nice fat stogie in one hand and a handful of chocolate covered mint in another hand, all covered over by a layer of leather.

2007 Ella Valley Cabernet Franc – Score: A-
This wine was the clear winner of the Cabernet Franc wine-off and was truly enjoyable. The nose on this black colored wine screams out at you from the second the wine hits the glass, with rich tar, tobacco, chocolate, cloves, sweet cedar, raspberry, blackberry, plum, and mint. The mouth on this full bodied and super rich wine shows clear oak influence with slight restraint. The mouth is rich, concentrated, layered, and mouth coating with now integrating tannin, rich blackberry, tobacco, raspberry, and plum. The mid palate is balanced with almost bracing acid, tobacco, tar, and sweet cedar. The finish is super long, spicy, and extracted with tobacco, chocolate, spice, sweet cedar, ripe plum, blackberry, light green note, mint, and vanilla.

Posted on December 16, 2011, in Food and drink, Kosher Red Wine and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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