by Fred McMillin
for June 26, 1997
Prologue: Cabernet Franc draws mixed reviews...
--Jancis Robinson, British wine authority.
--Prof. John Baxevanis, American wine authority.
The Rest of the Story: So, today is California Franc good or bad? I've done two trial tastings, and my panel gives the wines high marks. The latest accolades went to a '94 Cooper-Garrod Cabernet Franc. What, you've not heard of that winery? Let's go back 100 years. The Garrod family began farming after purchasing land from the Mount Eden Orchard and Vineyard Company on the eastern slopes of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Twenty years later R. V. Garrod was a Leader in helping the vineyards adjust to Prohibition.
Today Jan Garrod, great-grandson of the first planter, grows his Franc grapes on part of their 21-acre estate. with training both in France and California, winemaker George Cooper handles the rest of the process. The families have had their truly "private" reserve for years. They started selling it to the public only recently...1994. They produce less than 3000 cases a year...the Franc plus Chardonnay plus Cabernet Sauvignon. and try that Franc. It does not smell like pencil shavings!
1994 Cabernet France, Santa Cruz Mountains
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