by Fred McMillin
for June 3, 1999


One Fine Franc—Wow! Drink Now!


The best red wines from Washington State have the qualities of a good Bordeaux.

N.Y. Times

Generally, Cabernet Franc is considered too hard and austere to make it on its own. However, Franc made [in Washington] may be an exception, as it shows wonderful fruit intensity. As a result, plantings are increasing and more wineries are producing excellent examples.

Northwest Wines by Prather, et. al.

The Rest of the Story

Preston Premium Wines

Cabernet Franc ripening in Washington.

My panel just tasted one of those "excellent examples." Since it garnered a gold and a silver soon after its 1997 release, I put a bottle in the cellar for a spell. It was time well spent. With an extra year, it came out of the basement mighty silky. Panelist Edgar Vogt wrote, "Wow! Drink now."

Wine of the Day

1995 Cabernet Franc, Columbia Valley, WA
Preston Premium Wines (family owned, estate grown) 15 months in French and American oak 20% of that impressive Washington Merlot, 80% Franc
Contact—Cathy Preston-Mouncer, (509) 545-1990, FAX (509) 545-1098
Price—$17 range


Washington reds are to be taken seriously. The Beverage Testing Institute in Chicago held a tasting of over 560 U.S.A. reds. Twenty eight percent of the California entries were put in the top category. Washington wines making the top category...31%!

Note: For much more about the winery, see the May 29, 1998 WineDay article titled "Preston of Washington".

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.


WineDay Annex

More articles by
Fred McMillin


Welcome to WineDay, the electronic Gourmet Guide's daily update. Monday through Thursday, WineDay presents a wine profile. Then on Fridays we present the Winery of the Week to take you through the weekend.


A Cakebread Calamity?

A Bride Guide


Current WineDay

January WineDays
February WineDays
March WineDays
April WineDays
May WineDays

1998 WineDays

1997 WineDays


Copyright © 1999—the electronic Gourmet Guide, Inc. All rights reserved.