Raymond Burr Vineyards
2009 Cabernet Franc
California: Sonoma County
A Wine whose name is Franc
Today marks the long-awaited return of what is certainly our most popular Cabernet Franc producing wineries of these last six years! We’ve missed you, Raymond Burr Vineyards and we are so thrilled to be showcasing your remarkable 2009 Sonona Valley Cabernet Franc, today.
A true delight from first sniff, wine is a treat to inhale. Long before taking a sip, we found ourselves sticking our noses deeply into our glasses, reveling in wondrous aromatics.
On the palate, the wine is very pleasing. Lacking any of the problems that can often plague this varietal, today’s Cab Franc behaves more like a premium Cabernet Sauvignon, delivering delicious fruit, great tannin structure and a wonderful mouth feel, with an up-front grippiness that becomes softer and more elegant the longer the wine breathes. This wine is Cab Sauv-like in this regard but it is also, unmistakably, a Franc. The wine does have dark fruit, but it is also bright and very food-friendly.
Very highly recommended, enjoy this super versatile treat with a wide variety of pairings. For a vegetarian delight, pair this wine a mushroom tortellini. Four our meat lovers, spareribs, a hearty grilled beef burger or roasted quail would be superb.
Deep and dark with concentrated dark ruby hues from core to edge. Bright and translucent, this wine picks up room light and reflects it.
Lush, richly layered and brimming with aromas, this wine leads with dark black fruit of blackberry, cassis and dark plum. As it breathes, it expands to include rich layers of tobacco, dark spice, cedar, bakers chocolate, black cherry and a hint of dusty earth.
Light black pepper at the tip of the tongue, with flavors of black cherry, blackberry and unsweetened dried cranberry. The wine coast the mouth with these initial flavors. Then, softer flavors of candy apple, red currant, subtle baking spice and chocolate appear.
Elegant and rich with exceptional balance and lovely, soft tannins that invite you to enjoy slow, lingering sips.
What the Winery Says
“Rich and layered with touches of cedar and espresso, this wine has comples dried berry flavors with a hint of dusty overtones from our hillside terrior. Drinkable now, it will mature and age for the next few years.” Phyllis Zouzounis, Winemaker.
About the Winery
Raymond Burr and Robert Benevides had met, as professional actors, in the middle 1950s on the television program which was to make a legend of Burr, “Perry Mason.” Motivated in the beginning by friendship, the Burr/Benevides relationship was bolstered and advanced by their individual interest in, and knowledge of, the cultivation and hybridization of orchids. In the next several years this shared hobby began to grow until the obvious resolution was to make it a commercial venture. And so, Sea God Nurseries was born, becoming in the 20-odd years of its life an international presence with ranges in Fiji, Hawaii, the Azores Islands and in Southern California.
Simultaneously, Benevides had become Executive in Charge of Production on Mr. Burr’s very successful television series “Ironside” and together they managed an island in Fiji they had bought, where they raised copra and cattle.
In 1976 Benevides, on the advice of his father, had purchased an eminently desirable farm in the Dry Creek Valley and in the following months, as the nine-year “Ironside” drew to a close, Burr and Benevides traveled in northern California, the scene of both their young lives (Burr was raised in Vallejo, Benevides on the Peninsula, both attended school in Berkeley). Benevides took Burr to see his property in Sonoma County.
Around this time, the Dry Creek Valley was in transition; having for a long while produced hops, and then prunes, the area was just beginning to be recognized as the prime terrain for grape-growing that it now is. By 1980 the Burr/Benevides partnership had moved their orchid nurseries to the valley and work on the manzanita covered benchlands began…the clearing, the tilling, the sterilization; the wells dug, the drip-systems installed, the Roman drains, the French drains, the trellises built, the wires strung…all while the two men were actively engaged in the Viacom presentation of the new adventures of “Perry Mason” which over a period of five years was filmed in Denver, Colorado, Paris, France and Toronto, Canada!
The grapes were planted in 1986: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, and, for the proprietors, a small section of Port–the bareroot stock imported from Portugal. (The Port, originally intended for family and friends, has somehow found its way onto the Cartes du Vin of a couple of upscale San Francisco restaurants, and in 1996 took Double Gold at the wine fair there.)