One of the things we immediately noticed upon opening the store back in January was just how much our clients in Ithaca (and all over western New York) love Cabernet Franc. And why not? It's a grape that certainly allows the best winegrowers of our region to show their mastery, and virtually all Cabernet Franc grown in cool climates makes for easy, yet sophisticated, year-round drinking enjoyment. And, along with FLX renditions of this variety, we offer plenty of choices from the "home office" of Cabernet Franc, which is France's Loire Valley. And there's no better place to get started sampling the quality and variety on offer than with the superb 2017 Saumur-Champigny of Chateau de Villeneuve. The best Cab Francs of this appellation are grown in chalk, which lends a fine, subtle mineral backbone to the aromas and flavors of raspberry, wrapper leaf tobacco and cocoa. You'll also appreciate the roundness and moderate alcohol that have made this a by-the-glass favorite over the years of local restaurants such as Café Cent Dix and Kindred Fare.