Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Cinnabar Vineyard and Winery 2004 Cabernet Franc, Lewis Vineyard (Lodi)

Cinnabar Vineyard and Winery

2004 Cabernet Franc, Lewis Vineyard

Quite frankly, I’ve never seen such an intensely pigmented Cabernet Franc. Usually they are lighter in color than Cabernet Sauvignons, and much less tannic. But this deep, dark and brooding monster is anything but your typical Cab Franc. It comes from the 40-something-year-old Lewis Vineyard on the banks of the Mokelumne River in Lodi, about 600 feet elevation. This vineyard site benefits from relatively warm daytime temperatures with the breezes off the delta lowering the temperatures in the late afternoon and evening. The soils are well drained gravely loam and decomposed granite left behind by the river.

Here, old Chenin Blanc vines were budded over to newer clones from the French organization ENTAV, including Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Mourvedre. This is a fairly toasty climate with great potential for fat ripeness, and this certainly shows in this wine. The grapes were picked at 26.5° Brix, and the finished wine comes in at 3.66 pH, and .61 TA. Devoid of the ethereal perfume that is usually associated with Franc, this smells more like Petite Verdot.

Aromas are of earth, baked plums, olives and cloves. Flavors are rich, intense, baked raspberry bars, plum jam and dark chocolate truffles with a generous dusting of cocoa. This wine is one in winemaker George Troquato’s Limited Production Series: only 250 cases made, which for this winery, is very limited, indeed.

Reviewed February 20, 2008 by Laura Ness.

The Wine

Winery: Cinnabar Vineyard and Winery
Vineyard: Lewis Vineyard
Vintage: 2004
Wine: Cabernet Franc
Appellation: Lodi
Grape: Cabernet Franc
Price: 750ml $35.00

Review Date: 2/20/2008

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.