El Corazon 2010 First Crush Cabernet Franc
January 3, 2012 by Erin Thomas
Wahluke Slope's eldest reigning vineyard couples with youngster winemaker.
*Bottle #114: El Corazon 2010 Firsh Crush Cabernet Franc, Weinbau Vineyard, Wahluke Slope
*Price Tag: $28
*Running Tab: $1,435
*Retailer: The Winery, Walla Walla
A handful of folks might already know about how I find Spencer Sievers of El Corazon Winery in Walla Walla to be feverishly hunky, including my loving, live-in manfriend and a few of Sievers’ winemaking colleagues whom I also work with. I should blush, but I’m rather shameless and so is he – shirtless on his winery Web site, I do declare. He’s just asking for it!
With that disreputable proclamation out of my system, there is one more truth — the kid produces sound juice. He also does so with a seemingly short attention span. The man is in the midst of raising a family, running his own winery business and making wine for several other Walla Walla producers on the side. He’s captivating with his raw energy and enthusiasm for the loves in his life, both his crew at home and at the winery.
El Corazon Winery was started after Sievers knocked out his first harvest (for Reininger) and joined forces with his pal, Raoul Morfin, to bring a little flavor of their own to the emerging Walla Walla wine scene. Eighth grade Spanish learned me good to know the winery’s name translates into “the heart,” a blatant testament to the passion behind the wines that are handcrafted under this label.
Take the 2010 “First Crush” Cabernet Franc from Weinbau Vineyard in the Wahluke Slope for example. To tackle Cab Franc in general, a winemaker must be well-endowed in correct vineyard selection as well as in passion and confidence (see: shirtless photo). I tend to be a fan of Weinbau Cab Franc (see: Cuillin Hills post under the same name) and it’s 30-some year tenure. The grade A grapes are coveted by many and made correctly by few.
Seivers’ Weinbau Cab Franc is an early bird for the 2010 releases, revealing the effects of a cool, wet, late-blooming vintage and what said winemaker can do with it.
Awesomely brooding, both in its inky pigment and dark menacing fruit aromas and spikes of licorice and roses, the wine is also delicately fetching with baker’s chocolate, black cherries and currants. The palate is lightly dusted with tannins to hoist up hefty fruit and accented with pepper and mint.
As a blending varietal, Washington Cab Franc doesn’t tend to be all to commanding nor complicated and the First Crush doesn’t stray from that descriptor yet it is simple, solid and satisfying. Get your bottle now, as Sievers small production sells out fast.