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Element Winery 2012 RTW

RTW means “Red Table Wine,” for lack of some other fantasy name. That term sounds pedestrian, but Christopher doesn’t put on airs. At his core, he’s an upstate boy who has worked in restaurants for his professional career—as well as in the front of the house. He simply wants his top cuvée to be a table wine: a wine to be consumed alongside food and great company. This 50/50 blend of cabernet franc and syrah was fermented and raised for 48 months in neutral French puncheons, so there isn’t any fancy barrel treatment here. The result is a silky, subtle and eminently drinkable wine, showing sweet spice, cassis and the polish you get from neutral barrel ageing. The palate is likewise “sweet” with fruit and a touch of chestnut, and slight tartness which gives the wine lift and buoyancy. This is not Christopher’s top wine because he wants you to study it or think about it, though; it’s his top wine because it’s the one you will want to drink and drink again, at the table, with friends and loved ones.

  • 2012
  • Cabernet Franc, Syrah
  • USA
  • New York
  • Finger Lake
  • Conventional
  • Neutral French Puncheon
  • 48 months neutral puncheon
  • 12%
  • 750 ml
  • Red
  • $41.99