Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Wine:Savannah-Chanelle Vineyards 2003 Cabernet Franc, Estate (Santa Cruz Mountains)

Savannah-Chanelle Vineyards

2003 Cabernet Franc, Estate
(Santa Cruz Mountains)

My word! I thought, when I saw the alcohol level. What’s going on here? I frankly didn’t think you could get Franc that ripe, especially in the Santa Cruz Mountains, notorious for its coolish climate that endears itself to the production of fabulous Pinots and Chardonnays. But there is something edgy, luminous and mysterious about Cabernet Franc grown here. The same edgy tautness is present in the Cab Francs from Cooper-Garrod and Burrell School: the lithe texture and persistent core of acidity runs through them all. The 2003 Burrell School Cabernet Franc took Best of State at the 2006 State Fair, a clear top drawer showing of the appellation’s prowess with this varietal.

Made of grapes harvested from 70 year old vines, this wine has a bit of a hot nose, to be sure, but at the same time, the acidity never fades. There is a hint of extended skin maceration here: almost a Zinny edge that says “my skins were in this game.” Beyond the heat, though, you can clearly pick up hints of violets and red raspberries in the nose. On the palate, the rich red berries are tangy and delicious, with zingy cranberries and white pepper that are so typical of the fruit from this vineyard. The spiciness is elegant with distinctive hints of cardamom and anise. That alluring licorice lace trims the Zinfandel from this vineyard as well. All in all, this is a typically Tony Craig composition: balanced like a ballerina on one toe. It’s a very well structured wine that stands up to spicy foods, including grilled lamb chops with Worcestershire sauce, I know, I know: how pedestrian! But anything that can handle A-1 and Lea & Perrins gets an “A” in my book.

(Alc: 16.3%, Price: $30)

Reviewed April 11, 2007 by Laura Ness.

The Wine

Winery: Savannah-Chanelle Vineyards
Vineyard: Estate
Vintage: 2003
Wine: Cabernet Franc
Appellation: Santa Cruz Mountains
Grape: Cabernet Franc
Price: 750ml $30.00

Review Date: 4/11/2007

The Reviewer

Laura Ness

A wine writer and wine judge for major publications and competitions around the country, Laura Ness likens wine to the experience of music. She is always looking for that ubiquitous marriage of rhythm, melody, and flawless execution. What is good music? You know it when you get lost in it. What is good wine? It is music in your mouth.