Lucchesi Vineyards & Winery2004 Cabernet Franc
Sierra Foothills wineries are an adventurous lot, channeling the Gold Rush pioneer spirit. Case in point: Lucchesi Vineyards & Winery, which will be celebrating its fifth harvest this year. Founder Mario Clough began bottling Cabernet Franc as a single varietal with the winery’s second harvest. He and Lucchesi’s former winemaker, Heather Nenow, were confident that the variety, more commonly known as a blending grape, would do well as a standalone varietal. And he was right.
Cabernet Franc is a variety well suited to the Sierra Foothills, says Clough. He grows the variety at his Grass Valley estate vineyards at 2,500-feet elevation. The vineyard site for the Cabernet Franc provides intense sunlight all day which the variety needs to develop the best flavor. It is similar to the Napa-Sonoma growing conditions of hot afternoons and cool evenings, says Clough. The coolness mitigates the temperatures so it rarely gets so hot that the vines shut down, he says. Thus you get richness of flavor developed gradually over long summer days.
The 2004 Lucchesi Cabernet Franc is luscious, medium-bodied and hits all the hallmarks of a well-rounded wine. It has a delicious nose of dark fruit and cherry cola, flavor notes of plum, black cherry and nice heat akin to a dash of paprika. It has the Sierra Foothills’ signature robust tannins and a satisfyingly long finish. Clough serves his Cabernet Franc at Thanksgiving and says the spice element holds up well to the sweet potatoes and other holiday dishes.
Reviewed August 2, 2007 by Jean Deitz Sexton.
Other reviewed wines from Lucchesi Vineyards & Winery
Lucchesi Vineyards & Winery
(Sierra Foothills)Jean Deitz Sexton 7/18/2007
Jean Deitz Sexton
Jean Deitz Sexton’s first experiences with wine were drinking Italian wine as an NYU college student in New York City. She continues to have a love of red wines with a reasonable alcohol level, that have rich flavor, good fruit yet softness. Deitz Sexton has a great fondness for Rhone varietals, anything with bubbles and of late, is obsessed with blends. Her approach to wine reviewing is pretty straightforward: does it have a pleasant nose, clarity of flavor, interesting notes, good mouth feel, and a satisfying finish?