A Cabernet Franc Week (Again!) – Both From Winemaker Steven Kent Mirassou
Last week enjoyed two Cabernet Franc’s from 6th generation winemaker, Steven Kent Mirassou. The first wine was the 2018 L’Autre Côte Cabernet Franc. I previously wrote a story on his two single vineyard Cabernet Franc’s. One being the Ghielmetti Vineyard and the other Sachau Vineyard. You can read the previous story at: https://californiawinesandwineries.com/2021/04/15/lautre-cote-cabernet-franc-a-tale-of-two-vineyards-ghielmetti-and-sachau-vineyards/ . In that story it is outlined why Livermore Valley is ideally suited to grow Cabernet Franc. Thus Steven introduced a new label L’Autre Côte Wines with a focus on single vineyard production. This wine comes in a two pack for $98/per bottle. From that tasting with friends, the winner was Sachau Vineyards by a “nose”. Both wines received an “A” for quality.
What I tasted last week was his 2018 L’Autre Côte Cabernet Franc which is a blend of both vineyards with 67% Ghielmetti Vineyard and 33% Sachau Vineyard both in Livermore Valley. This Cabernet Franc will be taking over from his previous vintages of Cabernet Franc Small Lot series. The good news is that this wine sells for $45/per bottle! While not showcasing each vineyards merits it does provide a solid glimpse into the flavors, structure and finish of an eloquent wine.
The other wine was Steven Kent Winery 2016 Small Lot Cabernet Franc. This wine was aged in 20% new French oak barrels for 18-20 months with only 3 barrels being produced. On the eyes a beautiful crimson and royal purple coloring. With only a light touch of oak, Steven allowed the pyrazines to show through (herbal aromatics qualities) and allowing the interplay between red and dark fruits to shine on the palate and finish. Combining two vineyards, he was able to also extract different fruit and levels of acidity, to blend to a desirable level. A lot of thought and effort went into this vintage. On the eyes, a purple and red brick hue with a vivid clarity. On the nose, blackberry, blueberry, fig and prunes were present along with floral notes of violets. On the palate, the key herbal quality of bell peppers and herbal qualities were interlaced with the sweetness of vanilla and caramel. Additionally, minerality and soft leather came through in the finish. A complete story can be found at: https://californiawinesandwineries.com/2020/06/18/2016-steven-kent-cabernet-franc-a-mistaken-identity-by-me/ .
The lucky consumer now has three excellent Cabernet Franc’s to choose from the L’Autre Côte portfolio going forward!