Lang & Reed – Cabernet Franc North Coast – 2013

Happy Cabernet Franc Day!!

Using any sort of Sherlock Holmes deductive skills you would recognize that today, December 4th is in fact National Cabernet Franc Day.  From a historical perspective, it appears that this day was established back in the 17th century when a cardinal transported the vines to the Loire valley.  By the 18th century the wine was found throughout France and eventually was found as the father of Cabernet Sauvignon (Sauvignon Blanc was the mother grape). His majesty. Samson Oliver

Enough of the historical context of Cabernet Franc Day.  We thought that there is no better way to celebrate this holiday than to taste a Cabernet Franc.  Duh!! What a treat we have for you with this one too!

This Cabernet Franc comes from Lang & Reed Wine Company.  Reading the story of the winery, it began in 1996 with a desire to explore Cabernet Franc.  The founders of Lang & Reed, Tracey and John Skupny, have worked within the wine industry for many years even holding executive positions at Caymus and Inglenook Vineyards.  With Cabernet Franc being a prominent component in Bordeaux blends, the Skupnys desired to further understand the complexity that was found from Cabernet Franc.  According to the website, they embarked on a journey to develop a Cabernet Franc that was “true to type” – essentially, they wanted to develop a wine that screamed CABERNET FRANC upon consumption.  The North Coast designation relates to five counties within California of which four counties (Napa, Sonoma, Lake, and Suisun) are represented in this Cabernet Franc.

Visual: Pouring the wine revealed a beautiful ruby-red color with medium depth.  The wine was overall clear without sedimentation.  The wine demonstrated medium legs suggesting medium alcohol content.  Additionally, looking at the wine against a white background showed there was some age to the wine with a slight rustic color near the meniscus.

Nose: Smelling the wine provide us with a moderate aroma intensity.  The development of the wine was still quite young but there were some hints that it was beginning to age.  The wine had red fruit notes at the front with some additional spice that continued to develop with time.  We noted hints of leather and tobacco as the wine continued to open up.  There were also subtle hints of soil/dirt to round out the nose of the wine.  Interestingly, there was a small hint of banana which was a very unique characteristic.

Taste: The taste of the wine hit us with ripe red fruit – potentially strawberries, cherries and maybe cranberries.  There was a hint of tartness within the wine suggesting there was a decent amount of acidity within the wine.  The wine was very well balanced and then high tannins noted in the wine complemented the acidity content of the wine.  We thought the wine was on the drier side and produced a medium-full bodied nature.  The flavor was moderate in intensity and beyond the fruit had pepper notes with less spice than we had noted on the aromas of the wine.  There were subtle hints of wood or smoke that finished out the tasting.  The finish of the wine was long (5-7 seconds) to very long (>8 seconds) in nature – which has been one of the longer finishes we have experienced on a wine.

Our Overall Impression

  • This has been one of our favorite Cabernet Francs that we have tasted. While this isn’t the first time consuming this wine – it is the first time we have taken the time to give it a fair analysis.
  • The wine was very balanced during every aspect of the taste, immediately after pouring all the way to allowing the wine to decant for >2 hours. We did note that with aeration it did “smooth” out to some degree with a reduction in the acidity and subsequent loss of the very subtle tart notes.
  • We have only tried the North Side Cabernet Franc from Lang & Reed and are eager to try their different variations.
  • We were a bit surprised that the aromas noted on the nose did not completely carry through to the palate. While the pepper was detected, we lost the spicy characters that essentially define Cabernet Franc.
Lang and Reed - Cabernet Franc North Coast - 2013
Happy Cab Franc Day! We got an early Christmas present from the big guy up north!

Price: $25.99 (average price)

Vivino Rating:  3.8 out of 5

Our Rating:  91 out of 100

Tasting Date: 12/4/2017

What we paired it with: Sirloin Roast with Baked Potato

Wine Name – Lang & Reed – Cabernet Franc

Producer – Lang & Reed

Region/appellation – North Coast – Sonoma, Napa, Lake, Suisun Counties

Grape Varieties – Cabernet Franc

Vintage – 2013

Alcohol – 14.1%

Barrel – unknown

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  1. Vines just fascinate me!!! I’m not a specialist on the subject but definetely one of the branches that I love the most is Cabarnet.

    I’ve demonstrated Cabarnet Sauvignion and it was great. A little bitter but carries the taste of a fine aged breed of full-body, little strong, not so sweety, vine for seasoned drinkers. Looks like Cabarnet Frank carries mostly the same specifications.

    1. Hi Tyler – 

      Thanks for the comments.  Cabernet is definitely one of my favorites as well.  If you read the discussion on Cabernet Sauvignon (…) the reason the characteristics of the grapes are similiar is because Cabernet Franc is actually the father of Cabernet Sauvignon (it was a cross between Cab Franc and Sauvignon Blanc).  I’d recommend giving Cab Franc a try and see what you think – its typically used in blends a lot but a pure varietal is always an enjoyable experience.

      Thanks again

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