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Lambert Bridge Cabernet Franc 2011
Blend: 75% Cabernet Franc, 13% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Malbec
When the Chambers Family discovered this rustic stretch of Dry Creek they fell completely in love. Ray and Patti Chambers decided to make the winery their own in 1993. Their vision was heartfelt and enduring from the start: honor this idyllic land, farm and craft Sonoma’s finest small-lot wines, and create an inspiring setting to relish wine, food, and friendship. Utmost quality demands exacting, uncompromising methods. The limited production affords winemaker Jennifer Higgins intimate involvement and full control in every aspect of the farming and winemaking process.
Lambert Bridge's approach to winemaking is straightforward and relentless: chase excellence in every detail. By keeping production small and standards incredibly high, they make no compromise and spare no expense. The result is a portfolio of small lot world-class wines that captures the essence of the vineyard and vintage, year after year.
Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa Valley, the region only produces about half the amount of wine but boasts both tremendous quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.
Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River, Sonoma Coast and Carneros. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.
The subtler and more delicate of the Cabernets, Cabernet Franc is a proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. While both are important grapes in modern day, high quality Bordeaux, interestingly, Cabernet Franc most likely originated from the Basque region of France sometime during the middle 1600’s. Today Cabernet Franc produces outstanding single varietal wines across the wine producing world, with some of its most classic examples from France’s Loire Valley, in the regions of Chinon, Bourgueil and Saumur-Champigny. Outside of France, Cabernet Franc performs quite well in parts of California, New York and Virginia. It is also a great blending grape.
In the Glass
Cabernet Franc typically tastes of red raspberries, cherries and herbs, with a stunning perfume of violets, tobacco and spice.
Mouthwatering acidity makes Cabernet Franc an incredibly food-friendly wine, helping to cut through the richness of fatty meat dishes. It especially shines in tandem with lamb, and its affinity for the spice cabinet allows it to pair perfectly with Chinese dishes prepared with Szechuan pepper and five-spice.
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.