You see movie critics give rotten reviews when due. Book and music reviewers will do the same. So where the heck are the bad wine reviews? Some guesses.
Current trends are in the alcohol biz are hard seltzer and orange wine. Maybe Piquette is next, or not. Hard seltzer is popular because it supposed to be healthier, refreshing, and easy drinking. Orange wine because it's different. Rosé is hot because it's easy to sip, guzzle, or quaff. And for the color, I guess.
This is a year of widespread wildfires in California and much of the West. The fire season in the Wine Country started in earnest in August from lightning strikes and is still going strong, unfortunately. What's in store for this vintage? The quick answer is nobody is sure yet.
What is smoke taint?
In short, the wine tastes like a smoky campfire. You can read in-depth about smoke taint at Wine Spectator, "Understanding Smoke Taint in Wine."
Previous years with smoke taint
The first time I remember smoke taint in wine was in 2008 when there were spring lightning strike fires to the north of Sonoma in Mendocino County. A smoky haze hung over the area for much of June of that year. Northern Sonoma and Napa and especially Mendocino County were the most affected. Then in 2017 wildfires happened at harvest time. I haven't had a lot of wine from this vintage, but it seems smoke taint is hit-or-miss. A reputable vintner should not be selling you smoke tainted wine anyway.
What affect might it have this year?
You can read about that here from from Food & Wine, "Do California Grapes Have Smoke Taint from Wildfires?"
If some foods get any more scarce we may be recreating Hawaii with Spam and eggs.
Cabernet Franc is one of the so-called Big Five Bordeaux grapes, along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, and Petit Verdot. As with some of these it's often used as a blending grape. On its own you'll find a leaner, floral, and often herbaceous wine. The best have a nice complexity and can age.
No, there's no opportune time for a wildfire. These lightning strike fires in the Bay Area have come just about the time many are wanting to begin picking their grapes. The main wine areas affected are parts of Sonoma, Napa, and Santa Cruz.