Cabernet Franc is so identified with the Loire Valley in France that it's hard to remember that the grape is also much loved in the Veneto. Just tasted: the 2007 Montecchia "Godimondo." This is one smooth Cabernet Franc from a family whose history in the area goes way back -- as in the 10th century in Venice. It has all the spiciness and earthy qualities you'd expect, along with deep, bright-flavored fruit. A truly delicious bottle, perfect for a roast chicken or duck, a chicken fricassee or pasta with sausage or chicken livers. Great fall drinking.
-- S. Irene Virbila
Region: Veneto, Italy
Price: About $16
Style: Full-bodied and smooth
What it goes with: Roast duck, chicken fricassee, pasta with sausage
Where to find it: Mission Wines in South Pasadena (626) 403-9463, www.missionwines.com; Red Carpet Wine Merchants in Glendale (818) 247-5544 or (800) 339-0609, www.redcarpetwine.com; San Antonio Winery in Los Angeles, (323) 223-1401, www.sanantoniowinery.com; Wine Exchange in Orange (714) 974-1454, www.winex.com; and the Wine House in West Los Angeles (310) 479-3731, www.winehouse.com.