Every time I go into a generic wine or liquor store for the first time I will scour every shelf for that one bottle. The forgotten wine that the average consumer has no interest in. The wine that lacks marketability. The bottle that has a layer of dust on it. I am looking for that under $10 wine that should have sold out two years ago. In NYC there are thousands of liquor stores that carry some random ass wines. Last year over the course of a few months I bought up all the Agriolas Vallone Salice Salentino reserve 2000 bottles at my local shop. The 2000 vintage in Puglia is a great one and this wine opened me up to southern Italian wines. A good find I dare say.
Since my ongoing Can Franc delirium started, I always check for it in every store. Most likely I will find a Californian, and here in NY you might find a Long Island version in stock. The wine boutiques carry a few French Loire Valley bottles, and if I'm lucky, some Friulian Franc from Italy. A recent search on the web brought me to a Vinography entry about a Hungarian Cab Franc. At $80 it's a bottle that one will have to remain a dream. But, the knowledge of this varietal being grown in Hungary is priceless info that I've reserved some brain cells for.
Finding good wine is easy. Finding wine that you can drink any day for under $10 and still have that excitement about the varietal is another thing altogether. With more popular varietals like Cabernet or Syrah, you can find a number of wines from new world producers under $10. The not so popular Cab Franc, at least on the east coast, is more of a boutique varietal. This leads to $20 price tags and a not so easy find unless you are shopping in a wine specialty store. So I'm always looking for one under a ten spot. You can imagine my excitement when I found this bottle at a liquor store I checked out the other day.
You can't miss the pink label on this one. The Szekszard region is not something you see everyday either. Apparently the grapes are from there and it's bottled at Hilltop Neszmely Vineyards. It's 100% Cab Franc and aged for a year in Hungarian oak barrels. The 12.9% alcohol is at level that I like, not too high or low. Ruby red color. Cherries and strawberries on the nose. Tart cherry flavor with a slight herbal tinge. Juicy texture with a quick finish. Feels light bodied in mouth. I can't really tell that its been in oak. Overall not bad. Obviously not a $20 bottle. It's sufficient for a dinner wine though. My girlfriend loved it. My grade: B