Hook & Ladder
2015 Los Amigos Ranch Chalk Hill Estate Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Franc •Los Amigos Ranch
California: Sonoma County: Chalk Hill
To be ‘Completely Franc’ with you Operatives, this is your wine. We have been paying attention to what you want, since every other time we hear from you involves the question of “when we’ll be seeing the next Cabernet Franc?!” Just before this was reaching “are we there yet?” levels of frequency when traveling with kids, Hook & Ladder comes to the rescue with an awesome single vineyard Chalk Hill example to ease the anticipation. Agent Red’s love for this covert Bordeaux grape that deserves FAR more attention than its siblings has truly turned into a massive following that we are grateful for…
A gorgeous shade of currant turning black at the heart with a narrow rim glowing purple. Ripe black, blue and purple fruits, mostly berries, with plum, laced in exotic spice accents define the perfume. Sweet and savory at the same time as this varietal often is, with notably opulent tannins within the lush mouthfeel. Silky and surprisingly long on the finish for such a great value, wrapping it all up with lingering hints of summer jams and fruity chutneys. This symphony of playful flavors calls for a colorful, saucy stew with game and dried fruit. Even curries, think Thai or Indian cuisines.
The #1 reason why we must go through long, dry stretches sans ‘Her Francness’ is pure scarcity. Get this, the current California acreage for Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot total about 150,000 while Cabernet Franc’s plantings barely exceed 3,000. That’s 1 bottle of Franc for every 50 bottles of Cab and Merlot for statistics fans. Add to that how picky we are in choosing the right wines for you, and that pretty much sums up why we get so excited when we encounter a scrumptious example that also happens to fulfill our good ole outstanding value promise as this sub-$20 find with 40% savings before your eyes.
Jason De Loach is with the current generation of the clan’s winemaking legacy, growing up in vineyards during the heyday of De Loach Vineyards. Building his own reputation upon studies at SRJC and UC Davis, he cut his teeth in Chile and at Balletto Vineyards before taking the helm at Hook & Ladder. Jason has his pick of fruit from the more than 148 acres of vineyards farmed by his grandfather and family patriarch Cecil De Loach since 1970. This enviable access to Russian River Valley and Chalk Hill’s most sought-after grapes provides Jason with the “spice rack” of options necessary to craft elegantly balanced wines of extraordinary expression, depth and complexity.
Chalk Hill AVA is equally less encountered as Cabernet Franc while highly reputable. It resides in a true sweet spot in Sonoma County, especially for Bordeaux varietals and Chardonnay. Home of prominent names such as Chalk Hill Estate, Lancaster and Rodney Strong, it’s surrounded by Alexander Valley, Knights Valley and Russian River Valley, which it overlaps with. The unique chalky white volcanic ash soils here set it apart, resulting in wines with distinct personalities.
A gorgeous shade of currant turning black at the heart with a narrow rim glowing purple.
Ripe black, blue and purple fruits, mostly berries, with plum, laced in exotic spice accents.
Sweet and savory at the same time as this varietal often is, with notably opulent tannins.
Silky and long, wrapping it all up with lingering hints of summer jams and fruity chutneys.
This symphony of playful flavors calls for a colorful, saucy stew with game and dried fruit.
What the Winery Says
- Jason De Loach
- 100% Cabernet Franc
- Chalk Hill, Sonoma County
- Los Amigos Ranch
- 6.3 g/L
- Harvest date
- September 2015
- 20 months
- 25% new Hungarian and American oak
- Bottling date
- July 2017
- 18 barrels