Thursday, February 09, 2006
Franciscan Magnificat – A Magnificent Wine
Though the name doesn’t say it directly, the feeling is there. Franciscan Magnificat is a magnificent wine. But until you've tried the wine for yourself it is only a name, not nearly as sweet.
Franciscan Magnificat is one of the original California red table wines known as a Meritage. In fact legend has it that the term Meritage was coined by the Franciscan winery to describe the newly created blend of wines from their Napa Valley Estates. (Meritage rhymes with heritage). The wines creator, Andre Tchelistcheff, one of Napa Valley’s most famous winemakers, was inspired by the great Bordeaux wines. He felt that Franciscan’s Oakville Estates had what it took to produce a world class wine. Franciscan Magnificat is his proof.
For each vintage the Franciscan winery compose Magnificat, a red Meritage wine that best expresses the unique terroir of the Oakville Estate. Blending creates a harmonious wine which is ultimately more than each of its individual elements: Cabernet Sauvignon for structure, Merlot for suppleness, and Cabernet Franc for spice and aroma. Determining the exact composition of the final blend is an art form, making each vintage distinctive and unique.
The vintage I had the pleasure to sample was the 2001. Full, round, richly flavored and balanced. The wine has deep, ripe fruit characters with hints of vanilla and spice. It finishes with rich but soft tannins and sweet mouth feel from the oak. The harmonious blend and structured allow the wine to drink now or cellar for long aging. For me this is always a tough decision, a wine this enjoyable is hard not to drink. I guess that’s why cellars are in dark places, out of sight out of mind. But for now Franciscan Magnificat is top of mind so cheers to the next magnificent glass.