I know wine lovers and wine professionals who think wine should come from unexpected locations unless it is as good as "the classics." Why grow Cabernet Franc in California or - heaven forbid - Colorado when there is classic Cabernet Franc in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley? Why plant Nebbiolo anywhere but Piedmont in Italy? Why make sparkling wine from anything other than Chardonnay or Pinot noir? Such arguments come from ignorance. Now, I'm not saying that someone thinks Bruno Giacosa produces the finest Nebbiolo on the planet that any other Nebbiolo will change their mind. But, at the same time the preference to one wine region/style should not exclude the production elsewhere regardless if the "bizarre" interpretation bares no similarity to the "classic." I do not expect California wine to taste like French wine, and I also do not expect all California wine to taste alike. Now, what fun would wine be if it all tasted the same way?
I think being different just for the sake of being different can be good. Bizarre can be great. Thinking outside the box is what challenges our minds to expand. Outliers not only can last, but they can be paradigm changing. Andy Warhol was controversial artist that gained fame because of his outside-the-box thinking. I'm pretty sure Warhol didn't have only fifteen minutes of fame and faded back into obscurity. In fact, he produced some of the most expensive paintings ever produced.
|Bailiwick 2010 Cabernet Franc|
The Bailiwick Cabernet Franc is not like a Cabernet Franc from Bordeaux, Colorado, Loire, or even nearby Napa. If not for the distinctive green pepper characteristics I might guess this were a Pinot Noir. It is a light red color and has subtle red fruit aromas along with the scent of fresh cut bell peppers. I drank this over two nights. On the first night, the wine was very light bodied with flavors of cranberries, raspberries and those peppers. On the second night, it seemed to pick up some body with dusty chocolate and plum flavors appearing. Overall, this is a fun and unique rendition of a wine that speaks to its Russian River Valley pedigree. Will it convince a wine classist's mind to stop drinking "classic" Cabernet Franc? Probably not. Yet, I am glad there are wines like this one that are capable of showcasing the true diversity of the wine world.