Hook & Ladder Vineyards and Winery
2011 Russian River Valley Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Franc •Los Amigos Ranch
California: Russian River Valley
Today’s Hook & Ladder Vineyards and Winery 2011 Russian River Valley Cabernet Franc had everyone on our tasting panel raving. We have had the great fortune of featuring the two previous vintages of this wine, and we all agreed that this 2011 vintage is the best yet!
Today’s stunning wine is lively, juicy, and delicious, with not a flaw in sight. The finish is the absolute highlight: silky and almost impossibly soft.
Cabernet Franc is one of our favorite varietals here at The Wine Spies, and today’s offering from Hook & Ladder is a wonderful example of the best aspects of the varietal. If you haven’t tried one lately, or aren’t familiar with Cab Franc, today’s elegant, well-balanced, and very approachable wine is the perfect way to get started!
Dark scarlet hued at the center of the glass, with a radiant purple-red encircling the glass.
Deep and aromatic, with sweet plum, black cherry, and ripe blackberry quickly followed by fresh berry bramble, soft baking spice, and hints of sage.
Well balanced and absolutely delicious fruit notes of fresh strawberry and dark boysenberry mingle with sweet tobacco leaf, espresso bean, dark chocolate, black peppercorn, and touches of clove and cinnamon.
Incredibly supple on entry, the lengthy finish is quite elegant, with the dark fruit slowly trailing away into hints of sweet earth.
A perfectly grilled duck breast, served with a sour cherry balsamic reduction.
What the Winery Says
Our Cabernet Franc’s elegant character is immediately apparent in its opulent cherry-garnet color. A rich bouquet of oak and ripe cherry is complemented by the sophisticated aromas of vanilla, tobacco, and raspberry. A full, smooth finish makes this wine excellent by itself or with a hearty meal.
Located on our family’s Los Amigos Ranch just south of Healdsburg, these grapes thrive in the warmer heat than our vineyards in the valley. The unique weather of this Chalk Hill sub appellation allows this big red to ripen slowly, fully developing the complex flavors that make this wine unique.
- Jason DeLoach
- Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California
- Los Amigos Ranch
- Fruit Variety
- 90% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot
About the Winery
In 1970, San Francisco firefighter Cecil De Loach and his wife Christine staked their claim in the wine grape business by purchasing 24 acres of old-vine Zinfandel in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County. For several years they watched others make notable wine from their grapes before making the decision to produce wine under the De Loach label in 1975. More than three decades later, Cecil and Christine sold that label and have continued their winemaking skills at the helm of Hook and Ladder Vineyards, a small family winery that employs a simple philosophy – craft exceptional wines, from the highest quality grapes, that people love to drink. We consider each step of the winemaking process an opportunity to showcase the distinctive flavors contained within our carefully cultivated grapes.
Winemaker Jason De Loach
Jason De Loach was introduced to the wine industry in the customary way; physical labor. As a young man at De Loach Vineyards he eventually worked his way into the cellar. At the age of eighteen he became involved in harvest, crush, and later on became Production Coordinator as well.
After cutting his teeth at De Loach, Jason moved up to the title of Cellar Master for Balletto Winery, where he oversaw and operated a significant portion of the winemaking process. With commitment to his craft, Jason soon was named Assistant Winemaker under renowned winemaker Dan Cedarquist.
Keeping with the tradition of his grandfather, Jason attended viticulture classes, and then took courses in enology from the University of California at Davis. After helping produce a number of gold medal winning wines at Balletto, Jason returned to his family roots at Hook and Ladder in 2006. There he began as Cellar Master and soon became Winemaker.
Jason has been producing outstanding wines ever since; having his pick of the very best fruit from over 400 acres of vineyards farmed by his grandfather Cecil De Loach for over 30 years, Jason continues to generate exceptional wines.