What: 2013 Emile Heredia Boisson Rouge
Why: “All I want to drink when it’s hot out is the fizzy, fruity stuff. This one’s red and has the perfect balance of sweetness and acidity. It’s like a more crisp and refined version of Fanta strawberry soda.”
When: “This is a good sunset wine…after you’ve been drinking your summer rosés and ready for something more but not quite ready to move on to red wine. If you’re like me, you’ll keep drinking this into the night and never get to red.”
August: Cab Franc Fest
This month Cabernet Franc takes center stage. Cabernet Franc is often overshadowed by the bigger, bolder Cabernet Sauvignon, but it’s been around a lot longer – it’s actually the parent (along with Sauvignon Blanc) of Cabernet Sauvignon. As it originated in southwest France, Cab Franc is a predominant grape in Bordeaux blends, but it also finds its way into Super Tuscans and on its own in wines from South Africa to New Zealand and even Long Island. Although the region where Cabernet Franc really shines and shows diversity, in our opinion, is the Loire.
2013 Bobinet Saumur-Champigny ‘Amateus Bobi’ – Sebastien Bobinet and his partner Emiline Calvez have been working together since 2011. Largely influenced by the “godfather of natural winemaking” Jules Chauvet and the Loire’s famed Clos Rougeard, they aided in the momentum to have the entire Saumur-Champgny AOC reduce or eliminate chemical treatments in the vineyard (the first in France to do so.) They tend to a tiny two hectares planted with old vine Cabernet Franc, Cot, Pineau d’Aunis, and Chenin Blanc that was inherited from his grandfather in 2003. They farm organically with horse and plow, ferment naturally, and don’t add any SO2. As non-interventionist as you can get.
2010 Olga Raffault Chinon ‘Les Picasses’ – Olga’s estate is now run by her granddaughter Sylvie and her husband Eric and they are working as simply and traditionally as before. Their Les Picasses vineyard is 50+ years old and produces grapes with exceptional minerality and acidity. Tip: we also have a few other back vintages of this wine on the shelves which could be a fun vertical tasting if you decide to partake.
2014 Breton ‘Trinch!’ – Catherine and Pierre Breton make outstanding wines in the Loire, specifically in Chinon, Vouvray, and Bourgeuil (where this wine hails from.) They began farming organically way back in 1991 and introduced biodynamics in 1994. The ‘Trinch!’ is made from a 30+ year old vineyard planted on gravel soils. This is their fresh, young Cabernet Franc aged in stainless steel. It is delightful and drinkable and, as the label shows, meant to be shared. PS- “Trinch!” means “Cheers!” in German slang and was a term championed by philosopher and poet Rabelais.
2013 Lieu Dit Cabernet Franc – The sole American Cabernet Franc of the bunch comes from Lieu Dit – a partnership between sommelier Eric Railsback and winemaker Justin Willett. After many trips to France, together and apart, the two decided to make wines in Santa Barbara County exclusively with grape varieties of the Loire Valley. This wine, from Santa Ynez’s Star Lane vineyard, is fermented with whole clusters and aged in neutral barrels. Super fresh and a great example of a Loire style outside of France that is still unmistakable Californian.