Top 10 wines in the US press

2013 Lo-Fi Santa Ynez Valley Cabernet Franc

Lo-Fi Label

This “uniquely American” 2013 Lo-Fi Cabernet Franc topped the list of Jon Bonné’s top 100 US Cabernet and blends writing in the San Francisco Chronicle this week.

He said: “I’d heard whispers about the new wines from Mike Roth, whose work I’d so enjoyed when he was at Martian Ranch. By the time I finally got to his Cabernet Franc, sourced from the Coquelicot vineyard near Mission Santa Ines, it was a day or two after my birthday — and I immediately regretted not having opened it on the day itself, only because the finale of an epic birthday dinner was a proper Beijing-style lamb hot pot.

“The Lo-Fi brimmed with the scent of Szechuan peppercorns and crushed flowers to match its tangy red fruit. It would have been the perfect companion on that table. As the name implies, this is bare-bones winemaking: indigenous yeasts, partial carbonic maceration, neutral oak, barely any sulfur.

“The result is neither beholden to Bordeaux or the Loire; it’s a uniquely American interpretation of Cabernet Franc: flourishy but still subtle in its flavors, with an immediate sense of ripe fruit — a wine to enjoy in the moment. (Its purpose is underscored in that alcohol level, the old means of designating table wines.) It’s also a wine that underscores just how much this is the right grape for Santa Ynez.”

Price: $28

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