“The last thing people associate New Jersey with is fine wine, mostly because of negative pop culture images,” says Jim Quarella, owner and winemaker at Bellview Winery, less than an hour west of Atlantic City, adding “Most people think that New Jersey is all gangsters, trash, smells funny, etc. They've only ever experienced maybe Newark or the New Jersey Turnpike. They rarely view us as the Garden State and see how beautiful it is, down here in the rural areas.”
This warm-vintage Cabernet Franc brings all of the spice, earth and herbal notes franc fanatics crave—everything from black tea to bay leaf to dried oregano to black pepper—with ripe, medium-intensity tannins, well-incorporated oak and just a bit of acidity on the finish to improve the balance.
Blended with 8% Syrah, 4% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot (in addition to the Cabernet), this is fairly straightforward with currant and blackberry fruit and subtle earthy spice. The oak is a bit overt on the finish, which is also a bit short, but overall this is a solid Cab from a lesser-known region.