PICK for the HOLIDAYS: Grace Patriot Wines | Lewis Grace | Cabernet Franc | El Dorado AVA | California | 2010 | $33 | 93 pts

GP LogoWe have always been intrigued by Cabernet Franc, and over the years have tasted many well-crafted renditions from the varied regions where the grape flourishes and presents well either on its own or in a leading role in a blend — from Bordeaux’s Right Bank to the Loire Valley’s Anjou and Saumur appellations to the rolling hills of Virginia, to name just a few. We recently discovered this Cab Franc from Grace Patriot Wines in El Dorado County — in California’s Sierra Foothills — and were utterly charmed. It is an elegant and harmonious wine, offering fragrant aromas of lavender and thyme followed by savory flavors suggesting black raspberry, tea leaves, graphite, and spicy (though deftly integrated) oak. It is medium-bodied with moderate tannins and acids, and lingers supple and long on the palate. This is a Cab Franc that is at once polished and versatile, tapping that rare, sweet spot of appeal to both “big” red wine lovers and those who prefer leaner reds. It is truly a graceful wine, and we highly recommend it for the holiday table.

Availability: Grace Patriot wines are crafted in small batches and availability is limited. To inquire about the 2010 Cabernet Franc or other Grace Patriot wines, visit the winery virtually at www.gracepatriotwines.com or contact the tasting room at gracepatriotwines@gmail.com or 530-642-8424.

Related Reviews: To read our previous “Pick of Wine Country” feature on Grace Patriot Wines with reviews of selected wines, click here — GP Overview.  For our recent review of Grace Patriot’s 2012 Pinot Noir (92pts), click here — GP 2012 Pinot.

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