I. Brand & Family Wines Bates Ranch Cabernet Franc 2019
Bates Ranch Vineyard is a secret gem of the trinity of Bordeaux varietal sites nestled in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The Cabernet Franc fruit is from a small block planted atop rich red Franciscan volcanic influenced rocks in 1978. A classic example of Cabernet Franc. This full-bodied wine is bursting with lush, dark red berries and subtle lavender and hints dried herbs on the nose. Playing with balance, acidity pops off structured tannins finishing with that traditional peppery edge.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
This wine pres-ents cabernet franc in a fresh and sunny mode, its light flavors of cherries and tobacco leaf barely weightier than a rose, even as the earthy tannins add depth and length to the finish. Pour it with a rustic country pate. Best Buy
We did not set out to make these wines. We discovered great vineyards at the edge of sensible farming and decided to bring them to light.
The farther we looked, the more we found – remote, challenging vineyards, with hard depleted soils, and intense sunlight tempered only by the coastal breeze. Vineyards capable of producing only the most idiosyncratic wines. Our goal as winemakers is to lightly polish the roughest edges and leave the idiosyncrasy intact. It is here in the back country, filled with individual character, where Le P’tit Paysan comes to life.
We are not in "wine country." We have no trophy wineries, nor posh tasting salons. This is farm land, desolate hills, and solitude. What we do is simple, without artifice, and we enjoy it.
Winemaker Ian Brand puts a lot of miles on his car searching out and spending time in vineyards. He likes dirt roads, 12" vinyl, point breaks and hiding in the barrel room.
A rugged and topographically diverse cool-climate appellation with a rich history, the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA stretches from Half Moon Bay, just south of San Francisco, to the northern border of Monterey County. Elevations range from 800 feet to upwards of 3,000 and microclimates vary substantially depending on which side of the mountains the vineyards lie; cool ocean winds and fog play an important role here. This can be a challenging region in which to grow grapes, but it is well worth the effort. Santa Cruz Mountains wines are noted for balanced acidity levels, often showing great aging potential. Wine has been made here since the 1800s, most notably from the legendary Ridge Vineyards, whose Monte Bello vineyard garners international admiration.
Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are the stars of this region, while Merlot and Zinfandel also perform quite well. Organic and sustainable vineyard practices are becoming increasingly common.
Cabernet Franc, a proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon, is the subtler and more delicate of the Cabernets. Today Cabernet Franc produces outstanding single varietal wines across the wine-producing world. Somm Secret—One of California's best-kept secrets is the Happy Canyon appellation of Santa Barbara. Here Cabernet Franc shines as a single varietal wine or in blends, expressing sumptuous fruit, savory aromas and polished tannins.