At the National Cabernet Franc Wine Competition held December 2nd, 2020, Darcie Kent Vineyards earned a Silver Medal Award by the Professional Judges and the People’s Choice Judges awarded a Bronze Medal for the2017 Cabernet Franc. This was Darcie Kent Vineyards second year entering the wine competition. You can read more about the event at:
The history of Darcie Kent Vineyards, starts with her great-great-Grandfather who emigrated from Switzerland in 1875. His son, Christian Ruegsegger, her great-Grandfather started the Alpine Winery in St. Joseph, Missouri in 1883. Christian hand painted his labels for the wines. It closed down in 1945. Darcie Kent is now the fifth generation vintner and artist whose creative artwork adorns every bottle. In 2013 Darcie Kent acquired the property known formerly as Cedar Mountain Winery at 7000 Tesla Road in Livermore California. They have worked the 40 acre property and continue to renovate and improve the winery.
Julian Halasz is the experienced winemaker who makes artisan and handcrafted wines. The winery is also part of the Certified Sustainable Winegrowing Association (CSWA) promoting sustainable wine growing practices for the vineyards.
Their wines include Gold Medal Winner from the 2021 SF Chronicle Wine Competition the 2019 Pistachio Lane Chardonnay and the Double Gold 2018 Fire Pit Cabernet Sauvignon. In addition they produce Grüner Vetliner, Rose, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Port and various other Cabernet Sauvignon’s and Chardonnay’s. Today they are authorized to ship to half the states. Darcie’s artwork adorns each bottle and they are breathe taking. Some of the original pictures are available for sale.
The 2017 Cabernet Franc, besides the stunning label, recently took Double Gold at the 2021 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. On the eyes this is a deep purple color with red highlights and medium viscosity. On the nose, blackberry, raspberry waft beckoning one to partake in a sip. Once on the palate, briarwood, vanilla pipe tobacco mix with fruits of cherry and black fruits. The finish is smooth and soft with the tannins kept in check and just a hint of pyrazine flavor. This Cabernet Franc is an enjoyable wine by itself or with food. It is 100% Cabernet Franc grapes using 75% new French oak tight grain barrels. Julian mentioned this as having a “low impact” on the wine and is aged 21 months. 90 cases of Cabernet Franc were produced from their 1 ½ acres vineyard of these grapes. The wine sells for $50.
The Food and Wine Pairing
A seared ribeye BBQ’ed steak served medium rare, with Yukon Gold potatoes and a fresh garden salad prepared with toasted almonds and chunky blue cheese dressing made an excellent combination. The wine and steak were simpatico and extremely enjoyable.
The experience with Darcie Kent Vineyards has encouraged me to check out her Pistachio Chardonnay and Rava Blackjack Pinot Noir as soon as I can get back to Livermore!