Runquist Wines Are Always Winners – Especially His 2019 Cabernet Franc

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At the National Cabernet Franc Wine Competition held December 2nd, 2020, Jeff Runquist Wines earned a Bronze Medal Award from the Professional Judges and a Silver Medal from the People’s Choice Judges. This was for their 2019 Cabernet Franc from Clarksburg, California. You can read more about the event at:

The Winery

The winemaker/owner can be called a man of “many vineyards”. Jeff’s career history is via Paul Masson Sherry Cellars (Madera) as an intern while studying enology at UC Davis. Upon graduating, he worked at Montevia (Amador) and was subsequently promoted to winemaker in 1982. He then spent 3 years at the Napa Valley Cooperative Winery, followed by J. Lohr winery in San Jose. Then in 1996-1997 made wine at Sycamore Creek Winery (Morgan Hill) followed by 12 years at McManis Family Vineyard (Ripon).  With this history, Jeff and his wife Margie, opened their winery in 2011, Jeff Runquist Wines in Amador.

During his sojourn, Jeff understood the “terroir” of each vineyard and decided to arrange contracts with no less than six vineyards from the Sierra Foothills, three from the Napa Valley, and two from Paso Robles. And now one in Clarksburg! With this diversity in vineyards he has been able to produce a portfolio of a wide range of wines, which provides Jeff a challenge with each varietal. The offerings are numerous but highlighted by Tempranillo, Cabernet Franc, Barbera, Petit Verdot, Zinfandel “Z”, etc.  He has conquered all them as evidenced by 28 Gold Medals and 80 Silver Medals in 2012 alone! And his awards have continued steadily to present.

The Wine

On the eyes, a unique purple / maroon coloring (the picture does do justice to this beautiful coloring) and with a medium heavy viscosity. On the nose a combination of cherries, raspberries and fresh cut oak trees waft into the senses. On the palate, spices, black cherries, soft vanilla scented pipe tobacco and young leather develop and surround the mouth to provide an all-encompassing sipping experience. The finish is long with just enough angular tannins and pyrazines (green bell peppers) and peppercorns to enough. This turns out to be one of my favorite Cabernet Franc’s for unique color, smoothness and of course taste.

The Food and Wine Pairing

Paired with a Chaka marinated seared tri-tip steak BBQ’ed to medium rare. Accompanied with roasted brussel sprouts with a balsamic glaze and a fresh garden salad.




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