Inkblot Cabernet Franc leaves indelible impression

Michael-David Winery's Inkblot Cabernet Franc: dark fruit, exciting.
Michael-David Winery’s Inkblot Cabernet Franc: dark fruit, exciting.

The Wine Goddess took out the deck chairs last Saturday, even though it was a bit breezy. She instructed me to go into the shed, remove the water fountains and set them in position around the yard.
Later, while she tended to her gardens, I raked the lawn of winter debris.
These are all good signs of spring.
I don’t know about you, but I’m craving a string of 60-degree plus days where the sun’s warm penetrates your bones, smooths the gnawing little muscle aches and pains from shoveling snow, and moves the mind — and body — to live outdoors again.
I always look forward to the Wine Goddess “dressing up” the pergola. Just a barren wood-and-stone landscape in winter, it undergoes a wonderful transformation in April and May — chairs, couches, pillows, fire pit and flower pots make their appearances, ready for the delightful open-air theater of activity to follow.
Dante and Cato, the ceramic lions, come out of hibernation too, and loyally take up their solitary stations at the pergola’s entrance.
On this day, we were both a bit exhausted after freshening things up for hours. Still, we weren’t done.
The first rite of spring is marked by a celebration for the unveiling of the Weber grill.

A wonderful pairing: Inkblot Cab Franc and Tuscan-style grilled sirloin
A wonderful pairing: Inkblot Cab Franc and Tuscan-style grilled sirloin

The tarpaulin covering came off and the Wine Goddess sparked it up.
Next I saw two thick sirloin steaks materialize on one platter while another boasted eye-opening colors of yellow zucchini, green and red peppers, and black-and-brown mushrooms. The master/mistress of the modest Campanini Estate then moved food in, out and off the fiery grill in a matter of a few splendid minutes while I was dispatched to find the precious red wine to accompany the feast. (Watch the video at
“Oh, by the way, can you get the salad on your way out?” she tenderly inquired.
If the sound of her voice was music to my ears, the smells from the grill were the entire Boston Symphony Orchestra.
“Of course, dear,” I replied, skipping to the wine cellar where I spied a bottle of the 2012 Michael David Inkblot from Lodi, Calif.
I’ve waited since October to pop the cork on this 100 percent, thick and luscious Cabernet Franc, I said to myself, marveling at the artistic Rorschach label. Are those entwined lovers? Hmmm.
It’s a signed bottle from David J. Phillips himself, who I met at the Wine ConneXtion during a tasting visit last summer. He promised the wine would be sexy and appealing. He was correct.
Like most Michael-David products, Inkblot is bold and beautiful, from the black inky color to the lush raspberry and dark fruit flavors that put this over the top. It’s a go-to red for thick, juicy grilled steaks and meats, for sure. Cabernet Franc isn’t always as smooth tasting as a good Cabernet Sauvignon, but this one had all the features of an older, elegant wine. In fact, it’s taken the gold medal at several annual California competitions. Listed at $35 a bottle, it is priced less in some area stores.
While everyone’s palate is different, the Wine Goddess liked the selection. Quite frankly, that’s all that truly mattered to me.