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3060 El Cerrito Plaza #113
El Cerrito, CA 94530
Winery: Field Recordings
Type: Cabernet Franc
Region: Paso Robles
Why? What’s not to like? Cool climate Cabernet Franc from California.
|Mark’s Video Intro for This Wine: Cabernet Franc Intro Video|
Ok, so welcome back to what is probably my favorite varietal. Cabernet Franc.
What sucks about having Cabernet Franc as a favorite variety? There’s not much of it:
I know what you’re thinking, hey that’s not so bad….I mean, there’s enough to make the chart right? Here’s the issue, Cabernet Franc is thought of as a simple blending grape.
When you open this wine, you’ll see what I’m talking about. Franc is one of the parents of Cabernet Sauvignon and if you don’t mind a male/female comparison, it’s generally thought of as Cabernet Sauvignon’s mother, because it’s lighter in body and more acidic.
So winemakers and vineyard owners will often plant a few rows of it, just in case they need a blending grape.
I talked in my intro video a bit about how Cabernet Franc is finding a home in large part due to a combo of changing consumer preference toward more acidic wine, as well as. vineyards being pretty well planted out in standard regions, leading to more marginal sites being explored. These days, those marginal sites are the cooler ones.
In Paso, it’s a sign of the times.
When Alta Colina was busy planting their estate vineyard, they rented out space in the corner of another winery. These days, those type of setups are increasingly rare as tourists have found Paso Robles and have descended onto the wine region, bringing their dollars and yes, their wine purchases with them. More expensive vineyard locations has driven new plantings to the fringes and newer winemakers to the fringes as well.
Field Recordings is based out of Tin City in Paso Robles. It’s an interesting section of the neighborhood, largely because it’s new, but it’s not only wine. It’s a collection of newer wineries and winemakers, distilleries, a brewery or two and now, a restaurant. In Berkeley, we’d end up calling it a Drinks District. It’s also slightly east of the freeway, not exactly a high rent district, but one with affordable warehouse space which is a huge issue for new wineries.
Lastly, Field Recordings is a fun winery on a few levels. Andrew’s pretty fun, at least as much as someone who went to SLO on a football scholarship can be (I went to Santa Barbara and the two schools have some acrimony for each other, in terms of culture and well, some rivalries almost have to exist….there’s no other major universities for a hundred miles in either direction).
What I think I respect most about Andrew is his inherent willingness to be in the car. Finding lesser known vineyards isn’t easy work. Most use maps from libraries and old topographical maps when they’re available. Andrew? Sounds like he spends an awful lot of time in his car. Part of that is simply because the Central Coast is pretty spread out, but really when you’re a newer winemaker without any huge investors…..that’s what you do to find good vineyard sites and good grapes with which to make wine.
This Cabernet Franc is a good one, it’s a staple in our house and I hope you enjoy it.
Help my small business grow & drink for free. Please consider sharing this bottle and this newsletter with friends. If they choose to join a wine club, or if you give a wine club gift, I’ll ship you a month’s worth of wine, for free. Just drop me a note and let me know, or use the “order notes” section at checkout and mention this offer.
|It’s baseball season and spring has arrived. Both are equally as exciting in our house.
The wines coming in the coming months will likely match those trends, we’re close to 80 degrees as I write this next to San Francisco Bay. The good weather is coming….finally.