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Jan 25, 2009 06:58 PM

Favorite new world cab francs?

Noticed a review by Rob't Lauriston of one with which I was not familiar right about the time I had a Crocker Starr cab franc, a personal fav. I've not seen much similarity between New World (specifically California) and say, Chinon or Bourgeil hence the exclusion of the latter.

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  1. I'm going to sound like a broken record (an expression that may be lost on some younger folks):
    In order of preference: Pride Mountain, Spring Mountain Vineyard's Cabernet Francisco, Crocker & Starr, Titus
    Less special: Lang & Reed
    Not so good: Tresspass.

    I love the grape, the varietal.

    1 Reply
    1. re: maria lorraine

      Lang and Reed always one of my favorites. One that I recently tried and was quite good as well as organic is Yorkville from Mendocino

    2. >>> I've not seen much similarity between New World (specifically California) and say, Chinon or Bourgeil . . . <<<

      For me, the major problem historically is that California winemakers treated Cabernet Franc as if it were Cabernet Sauvignon, rather than a Loire Valley grape. But with the very obvious and very noteworthy exception of Ch√Ęteau Cheval Blanc, Cabernet Franc is a minor player in the wines of Bordeaux, and so the "learning curve" -- at least as California is concerned -- has been long and, perhaps, unnecessarily steep.

      Basically, my list would agree with Maria Lorraine's. Pride Mountain and Crocker & Starr have been very consistent producers of high-quality Cab Franc. The most Loire-like Cab Franc I've ever had from California came from Indian Springs Vineyards in Nevada County (Sierra Foothills).

      But candidly, I stick with those from the Loire . . .


      1 Reply
      1. re: zin1953

        ML and Jason: I've had the Titus about which I agree with ML but I've not had the Pride and I will have to track it down.

        In the Bordeaux varietal context, what about Petite Verdots? I had one several years ago that I rather liked (and, of course, now don't recall the producer) and I don't recall seeing any others for quite a while. Supposedly there is a very good (albeit rather expensive) one which is imported from Spain. I've also read about one from Jaunik in WA but have not bothered to contact the winery to get one.

      2. If you're looking for something that lands somewhere between the CA and the Loire versions of this grape, New York's North Fork might be a good place to start. Pindar Vineyards makes a highly lauded Cab Franc:

        1. If you like the more Chinon styles of wines there are a few Washington State producers that do a good job. Chinook's Cab Franc is pretty consistent vintage to vintage and quite tasty. Also, look for any wines made from the Portteus Vineyards. Portteus makes one themselves, but they also sell grapes to quite a few other people. Chatter Creek also makes one that is well thought of, but it's a little more new world in style.

          1. I, too, like Pride Mountain Cab Franc. They' defnitely will not be confused with Old world stuff, but I like them for what they are.

            I've not had many experience with New World CFs, but another one that I chanced upon and bought a few of are the 1999 and the 2001 Haven's Bourriquot from Napa. Pretty good stuff, cheaper than Pride, but worth seeking out, imho.

            1 Reply
            1. re: RCC

              I'm a big fan of the Haven's wines (although I wonder how much longer that will be the case since I understand that Michael is no longer involved in any capacity). The Bourriquot had a fair bit of merlot in it, I think.