Operative: Agent White
Objective: Revisit our friends at Mayo Family Winery and acquire their delicious Los Chamizal Vineyard Cabernet Franc
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Mayo Family Winery
Wine Subject: 2008 Los Chamizal Vineyard Cabernet Franc
Winemaker: Michel Berthoud
Varietal Backgrounder: Cabernet Franc is one of Agent Red’s favorite red varietals. Perhaps this is because its flavors are often rich, layered, complex and elegant. Or, perhaps he loves Cabernet Franc so much because it pairs so exceptionally with many different foods. One of the most notable things about Cabernet Franc is the fact that finding excellent examples can be very difficult.
Look – Dense and dark garnet and magenta with a dark but clear core that shows garnet reflections when held to the light. The color remains dense to the very edge where it lighten only slightly and when swirled, clusters of randomly spaced thin legs creep down to the wine below.
Smell – Bold, bright and intense aromas of blackberry, black cherry and other dark berries leads you in and is following immediately by black licorice and dark earthy graphite notes. Complexity is added by sweet and green herbal notes, toasted oak and even spring flowers.
Feel – This very full-bodied and dry wine is smooth and rich upon entry but then a touch of spice along with firm and finely textured tannins that hit and are complimented by its tangy and lively acidity. Dusty minerals adds texture and this wine becomes noticeably rich and warm as it opens.
Taste – Rich, ripe and tangy black berries including the blackberry, black cherry and even boysenberry blend with baking spice to give an almost jammy and sentimental character initially Then notes of black licorice along with the herbal and floral components found on the nose make their appearance on the palate. Dark minerality and toasted oak adds depth but remains balanced and not overbearing.
Finish – Extremely long with this wine’s vibrant acidity and rich fruit leading the way on the finish. The other complex flavors all linger and then fade in unison providing a deep and generous mouth feel all the while inviting another sip.
Conclusion – The 2008 Los Chamizal Vineyard Cabernet Franc is a fantastic Cabernet Franc that shows great depth and character on the nose. Rich aromas and flavors paired with a sturdy mouthfeel with great acidity makes this wine great for food but also a wine that can be enjoyed completely on its own. A wine that is drinking wonderfully well right now (with time to breathe) but will continue to improve with some bottle aging. Pair this wine with barbecue baby grilled and seasoned meats or a hearty stew.
Winemaker, Michel Berthoud, has proven too elusive for even us. We were unable to secure an interview with him for today’s featured wine. Be sure to check back, the next time we feature another fantasticMayo Family wine.
The approximate location of the Los Chamizal Vineyard in Sonoma Valley can be seen in this satellite photo.