At the National Cabernet Franc Wine Competition held in December 2020, Cuda Ridge earned a Gold Medal and Best of Class by the Professional Judges. This was a blind competition with two sets of judges. A great accomplishment knowing that twenty-four quality wines were in the Category II ($31 to $50) from around the United States. The Professional Judges also awarded 2018 Cuda Ridge Cabernet Franc a Silver Medal.
The Cabernet Franc is part of Larry Dino’s (winemaker/owner) Bordeaux Collection. He has two other “wine labels” called the Black Label and Reserve Collection. His Bordeaux Collection as imagined has besides Cabernet Franc, the other key varietals of Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon and most recently added Carmenere.
This 2017 Cabernet Franc showed some “old world characteristics” as well as unique Livermore Valley traits. The coloring of this wine was so dark and alluring with a medium heavy viscosity. On the nose, blueberry, cherry and a hint of plum and floral notes abounded. On the palate, the naturally higher acidity was milder for a Cabernet Franc as well as the tannins subdued as expected. In the mouth, the blueberries and dark cherry were prominent along with a modicum of your typical bell pepper, black pepper and sage qualities. Soft leather, a dry rockiness and sweet pipe tobacco lingered to make the finish long lasting and inquisitive.
The 2017 and 2018 Cabernet Franc also won Bronze Medals from the People’s Choice Judges.
Specifically his Cabernet Franc over the years has won the following awards and distinctions:
• 2017 Wine Enthusiast 91 points; Silver Medal at 2020 SF Chronicle Wine Competition
• 2016 Wine Enthusiast 90 points: Silver Medal at 2019 SF Chronicle Wine Competition and Silver Medal at TVC Uncorked
• 2014 Best Livermore Cabernet Franc; Silver Medal 2017 SF Chronicle Wine Competition and 90 point from Wine Enthusiast
• And many more awards going back to 2008 including more Silver Medals, high ratings from Wine Enthusiast and a Gold Medal from SF Chronicle Wine Competition
The Food and Wine Pairing
Paired the 2017 Cuda Ridge with a pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes, fresh garden salad and broccoli for a wonderful meal.
This was Cuda Ridges’ first time participating in the Cabernet Franc Wine Competition and I have a strong suspicion Larry Dino will be entering again to add to his war chest!
Complete Results of the Cabernet Franc Wine Competition can be found at: