2018 Savage Grace Blanc Franc
VARIETAL: Cabernet Franc white
REGION: Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
BOTTLE SIZE: 750 mL
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming; whole cluster pressed and aged in stainless-steel tanks for six months; .
We don't see a lot of natural wines from Washington state, and we have NEVER seen Cab Franc vinified white, so this is a Unicorn wine all around! It comes from a small, one-man winery started by Michael Savage in 2011 -- kind of on a whim. While working in music and software development, he signed up for the WSET (Wine & Spirits Education Trust) diploma course, for fun. But while preparing for the exam, he decided that instead of learning about it, he should probably just make it. So he started a project inspired by the wines he loved to drink -- light reds from the Loire Valley -- made his first wine that very same year. He named his label after himself, ‘Savage’, which he says also represents the struggle of the grape, and the ‘Grace’ part is not only his wife's name but what he hopes to capture in bottle.
Michael makes mostly red wines, with a focus on his favorite grape, Cab Franc. Here he lets the juice sit with the skins for a few hours then presses off (instead of leaving it sit for days or weeks, as in a red wine), leaving the juice with just a kiss of skin contact, a pretty pink blush, and the spicy, peppery aromatics of Cab Franc. You totally taste that green pepperiness typical of this grape, but the citrus notes and zesty acidity prevail -- think lemon, lime and thyme. It's such a cool take on Cab Franc, with white wine acidity in the body of a lighter red. Chill it properly and wow your friends with this truly one-of-a-kind wine.
SEAN P. SULLIVAN, Wine Enthusiast - Coming from one of the area's premier vineyards, this is a one-of-a-kind wine in the state: a white Cabernet Franc, whole cluster pressed and aged in stainless-steel tanks for six months. After starting out a touch reduced, aromas of spicy herb, whole green pepper and citrus lead to medium bodied, layered, acid-driven flavors. It's a knee buckler, with white wine acidity but the body of a lighter red. 91 Points