The wine: Lang & Reed 2016 North Coast Cabernet Franc
The place: Lang & Reed tasting room in Saint Helena, CA (can also purchase from their website)
The price: $29
Lang &Reed is about as “family owned and operated” as you can find in the wine world. Started by husband and wife John and Tracey Skupny in 1993, the oenophile couple first started making wine as a passion project that has since become one of the most tasteful and high quality portfolio of wines in Napa Valley. Their business model values the importance of hands-on winemaking, quality wines with minimal intervention (only where necessary), and only using exceptional fruit from growers that they know and trust. You are really tasting the vineyard, grape, and TLC put into these wines.
L&R are a true Loire Valley house, producing prestige cabernet franc and chenin blanc as their two main varietals. The North Coast Cabernet Franc is one of four of their cab francs and as the name suggests, highlights grapes from three different Northern California AVAs: Lake County, Sonoma County, and Napa Valley. The combination of the crisp Pacific air that flows into the Sonoma vineyards and the beautifully rich terroir of the Napa Sugarloaf Mountain make this north coast wine smooth and balanced on both the nose and mouth palates.
The wine has a beautiful garnet hue and is the perfect blend of spice, vegetation, and fruit aromas. It is at first pyraziney on the nose and has a beautiful bouquet of dark fruits such as dark cherry and blackberry on the nose and mouth. Upon tasting, vegetative flavors of fresh green bell pepper and a hint of eucalyptus make themselves known. This wine has a subtle and refined black-pepper spice which compliments the herby and earthiness on the palate.
The North Coast Cabernet Franc’s subtle spice makes it a great wine to pair with a barbecue dinner, spaghetti dish, or roast chicken. If you are interested in adding more cabernet franc to your repertoire, this is definitely the place to start.