2007 Lang & Reed North Coast Cabernet Franc

Price: $19.99 @ K&L Wines

What They Said:

2007 Lang & Reed North Coast Cabernet FrancPer K&L Wines “Like a domestic Chinon, the Lang & Reed Cabernet Franc showcases the varietal at its best. Sourced from the High Chaparral, Cross Springs and La Sierra vineyards in Lake County, with small amounts of fruit from the Cafferata and Stanton vineyards in the Napa Valley. Violet-hued with a dark nose full of black cherry fruit underscored by lavender, sage and fennel aromas. In the mouth the cherry fruit envelops your senses with soft tannins and savory herbs. Easy to drink, especially with a slight chill on it, this wine is food-friendly, fun and ready to drink. One star from the Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wine: “This lively, fruit-focused wine recalls the comparatively lighter Cabernet Francs of France’s Loire Valley, and, while very much showing a touch of the brushy, dried-leaf qualities often found from the grape, it holds tannin in check and smacks of cherry-like fruit from beginning to end. A few years of age should find it in top form, but it will make a pleasurable partner to steaks and chops even now.” (05/09)”

What I Think:

Wow, this is the most compelling wine I’ve had in some time. Not so sure about the “domestic Chinon” but this is a winner straight out of the gate. In the glass it shows a nice shiny purple color. The nose is inviting. Some red fruit notes and loads of flowers and herbs, violet and mint come to mind. Bold flavors greet you in the mouth. Loads of red cherries assert themselves through the middle of the palate delivering a great mouth feel throughout. The finish unexpectedly transforms to a light finish of dried cherries, herbs and floral notes accompanied by pleasant, soft, unending tannins which deliver just enough acidity to keep the balance perfectly in check. Remarkable! And it is even better with food. A very flavorful and fruit forward wine that at the same time manages to be elegant and restrained. Checking the vineyards on this one I see it is 90% Lake County (with the rest from Napa Valley), yet another reason to explore this region more. Thanks to Vinography for bringing this one to my attention. I’ll definitely be grabbing some more of this one. And for those of you that read here often, for a wine that checks in at $20, you know that is very high praise. I’m already looking forward to the next bottle…

Rating: Wow!

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9 thoughts on “2007 Lang & Reed North Coast Cabernet Franc

  1. I’ve been meaning to try this L&R offering, but I have to admit the “domestic Chinon” description has made me think twice. It seems unlikely this could have more in common with a Chinon than, say, a domestic Pinot Noir. The climates and age of the vineyards are so different. Maybe I’ll keep an open mind, ignore the Chinon descriptor, and enjoy it for what it is if I come across it.

    • I’m no expert in Chinon but I definitely wouldn’t worry about that description. I really enjoyed this wine and think it is worth a try. If nothing else it would be interesting to see if our palates agree with one another…

  2. A solid value indeed, this is a consistent champion of the under-appreciated grape Cabernet Franc. While I’ve not had it in a couple of years, this does remind me to look for it once again.

    Question: what did you serve it with?

  3. My take on this wine isn’t so much that it’s a domestic Chinon, but more that it is incredible California Cabernet Franc. I have long felt that this is a grape that your everyday winedrinker is missing out on, and Lang & Reed is the best California producer, period. It offers wonderful complexity to the studious wine buff, but also an abundance of fruit for those that just want to drnk and enjoy.

  4. Kevin, sorry for the delayed response but your comment got caught in my spam filter somehow. I served this wine with a grilled pork chop and green beans. The pairing worked well for me.

    Chris, I agree with your assessment. This is an accessible wine for those new to the varietal while also offering plenty to keep the connoisseurs interested.

  5. I got two bottles of Lang & Reed 2009 Cab Franc in November from Lot18.com. Just got around to trying it this weekend. Ah-MAZ-ing.

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