Lucas & Lewellen Valley View Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2009

Lucas & Lewellen Valley View Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2009: Dark ruby color; red fruits, cherry, some oak, green peas,

bit of rustic barnyard funk on the nose; cranberry, blackberry, chocolate-covered cherry, green flavors, beets and brussel sprouts and celery (veggies always are part of the cab franc profile—you either love it or you don’t) on the palate. Dry; orderly tannin, very nice acidity, food friendly. You either adore cab franc as a varietal or you don’t get it. Cab franc is thrown in as minor player in lots of blends for its rustic element, its inky color, its vegetables on the periphery; when it is the only grape, those characteristics smack you right in the face. You either love it or you shake your head in wonder that people actually drink this stuff. Like some Burgundy efforts, this is wine that separates dabblers from drinkers. If you decide to really get into wine, someday you will love what cab franc is, but be warned that in the beginning you will be bewildered that some passionately think it wonderful. Lucas & Lewellen grow the grapes in Santa Ynez valley in Santa Barbara County, so it is in southernmost stretch of California wine country, but it also is cooled by Pacific, so it avoids the baking heat of Bakersfield and the San Joaquin Central Valley. Newbies likely will not like this; keep at it and you will change your mind. Such is the joyous evolution of a wine palate; no wonder people have thought fermented grape juice is the libation of the gods from time out of memory. $21-26 Lucas & Lewellen Cab Franc