pureCru Wines located in Napa, California participated in the December 2nd, 2020 National Cabernet Franc Wine Competition. The Competition was hosted by California Wines and Wineries at The Golf Club at Copper Valley in Copperopolis, California. This was a blind competition with two sets of judges (Professional and People’s Choice) in different areas of the facility. pureCru Wines 2014 won a Silver Medal from the Professional Judges and their 2016 won a Gold Medal. And from the People’s Choice Judges, both wines won a Silver Medal. This was their first time entering the competition and they did very well. Wines were submitted from 14 states and numerous AVA’s from around the United States. For more on the wine competition sponsored by California Wines and Wineries see:
Firstly this has been a tasting room set up by the well-known Mitch Cosentino to showcase handcrafted and artisan wines in downtown Napa. They are in the midst of looking for a new site as the building was sold. Mitch began his winemaking career in Modesto producing small lots in 1980. Ten years later he moved his operation to Napa Valley. Today he is producing many award winning wines, both single varietal and blends. Initially focused on fruits from Napa Valley, his gift is to seek out unique sources of fruits. Once found, he is a believer in hands-on winemaking including “old world use of punched cap fermentation, a labor-intensive, hand-crafted method of winemaking”. The Club Cru wine club includes benefits of up to 25% discount and first offers on special small lots, private tastings and other items.
Both wines, the 2014 and 2016 Reserve, at this past weekend tasting were very similar in the tasting profile. On the eyes, a very deep crimson red/black with a deep purple hue on the rim and medium heavy viscosity. The aromas on the nose brought forth black fruits, with hints of spices. Once in the mouth, the lively juice dance about in the mouth highlighting close, pepper, red & black fruits with oak being easily recognized. On the finish, strong tannins along with the abundant structure beckoned the next well balanced sip. One item “missing” was the classic pyrazines (green bell pepper), but 2016 was still the standout wine of the evening! A big chewy wine for sure! Long lasting and needing food to fully enjoy.
Both wines are 100% Cabernet Franc and aged in selected French oak barrels (33% new). The 2014 for 55 months and the 2016 for 40 months. Approximately just less than 200 cases were produce for each of these two years of Cabernet Franc. The 2014 is almost sold out and the 2016 will be released in April and will sell for $75.
The Food and Wine Pairing
For the meal a BBQ’ed Carne Asada flank steak entrée that was marinated 48 hours. It was marinated with fresh cilantro leaves, olive oil, low sodium soy sauce, orange juice, lime juice, minced garlic, six diced Habanero peppers, cumin, kosher salt and course black pepper. While tangy but not too hot, the meat and both wines brought out the best in each other! A perfect marriage. Served with Spanish rice with diced jalapeno peppers and tomatoes. Also a salad and lemon and garlic shrimp a. For dessert a wonderful parfait was prepared.
The 2016 pureCru Cabernet Franc will make the Best Wines of 2021 which comes out at the end of the year!