2018 L’Autre Côte Cabernet Franc – A Big Winner at the International Cabernet Franc Wine Competition and Celebration
At the April 2022 International Cabernet Franc Blind Wine Competition and Celebration held in Copperopolis, California, 2018 L’Autre Côte Cabernet Franc won several awards. Two sets of judges presided over the tasting, one being the Professional Judges and the other being People’s Choice Judges. The Professional Judge’s in the $76 to $100 price range category, awarded a Gold Medal and Best of Class to the 2018 L’Autre Côte Cabernet Franc. This was the only wine in this prestigious category to receive a Gold Medal from the Judges.
Background on L’Autre Côte and Steven Kent Mirassou
It is not often that one sets out to turn the world upside down, but that is exactly what Steven Kent Mirassou is attempting with his newest label call L’Autre Côte meaning the “other coast”. The L’Autre Côte brand falls under The Lineage Collection. The goal is to make world acclaimed Cabernet Franc wines from two of Livermore’s well-known vineyards. He accomplished that in 2017 with his two versions of Cabernet Franc, one from Ghielmetti Vineyard and one from Sachau Vineyard. He made 50 cases. Both sold out almost immediately and for the full story on his 2017 read: https://californiawinesandwineries.com/2021/04/15/lautre-cote-cabernet-franc-a-tale-of-two-vineyards-ghielmetti-and-sachau-vineyards/. Since that article was written he received 96 points for his Ghielmetti Vineyard and 94 points for his Sachau Vineyard Cabernet Franc wine. Remember this was his inaugural release. He was just awarded 95 points from Wine Enthusiast for his 2018. His Lineage “Bordeaux Style” wine and his Cabernet Sauvignon were both rated 100 points and the only Livermore Valley wine to be rated so highly.
The 2018 L’Autre Côte continued with using two designated vineyard Cabernet Franc wines, but this year he combined the two together as it produced a higher quality Cabernet Franc. In Steven words “the wine is truly magical because their irreducible wholeness comes about as a function of their purity of fruit, balance of acidity and overt sexiness”.
Steven poured his2018 L’Autre Côte at the Cabernet Franc Celebration which included wine tastings and appetizers. The wine was also featured the following evening a Winemaker’s Dinner in conjunction with the Cabernet Franc Celebration which Steven was a guest speaker.
The 2018 L’Autre Côte Cabernet Franc
Ghielmetti and Sachau Vineyards have been a long-time source for Steven’s wine be it Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc. The one block at Ghielmetti of Cabernet Franc Clone 332 is 3.7 acres in size. Sachau vineyard is six acres in size with a loamy soil. The 50/50 combination of the two (each aged separately) then with 4% Cabernet Sauvignon added provided the best of both vineyards. On the eyes, a bright and dark reddish/purple coloring and with medium viscosity. On the nose a very fruit forward aroma of raspberry and blackberry fruits. On the palate, besides the fruit bursting with excitement, you are rewarded with chocolate, jasmine tea and minerality. The finish provides rounded and defined tannins without overt edges, giving one a silky landing. The finish is mid-lasting and a tinge of fruit sweetness, yet with subtle pyrazines in play. Using once used French barrels, this wine does not have a predominance of oak but rather allows the fruit to be showcased. This wine was released in early March and is $98/bottle with 145 cases produced.
The Food and Wine Pairing
Recently paired with a Filet Mignon, pan seared and then baked shortly and served medium rare. Topped with a Blue cheese-chive butter. Accompanied by a baked Russet Potato and roasted brussel sprouts. The acidity in the wine was spot on to provide enough power to pair with the beef. A delightful meal for sure.
This wine is surely destined to be age worthy for 10-12 years and obviously from the ratings from both the International Cabernet Franc Wine Competition & Celebration and Wine Enthusiasts it a great wine to drink anytime!