Brand Apart

Pale garnet. An effusive nose of fresh fruit and floral, all manner of plum and light berry, a deep-seated savory spice, leather and warm stones, a plushness of wood and age far out-playing its stated vintage. Rich and decadent with minimal vine and greenbrier, all brown sugar and frothy currycomb, vanilla and wet linen.

There’s a handful of cool kids making the best CF in California and this guy is one of them. Monterey-SCM-Paicines seems to be the sweet-spot trifecta on this grouping. Getting the Central Coast’s best hidden vineyards to crank out the finest soft-shouldered examples of this grape seems to be their forte. WATCH FOR THEM. You want names??? Just pay attention!

No crazy cru-bojo herbaceousness or prickly stem on this one. Warm and ripe from attack through finish seems to be the name of the game on this version. It feels plump enough to be basking up near the 14-oh mark, but I feel this winemaker would not produce that. The color and delicacy of mouth-feel both tell me considerably lower, but NOWHERE is any green spriteliness or bitter zang. It is full, plush beautiful cherry, watermelon, and strawberry throughout. Solidly-girthed middle, acid visible but integrated down into things so well as to define *balance*. A back-rub of tannin rasps into the finish gingerly, everything still high-as-a-kite on round, full fruit.

An absolutely gorgeous wine, maybe not *edgy* enough for hipster-geek or low-intervention nazi, but colored so delicately inside the lines of power and richness, it could be someone’s TURNING-POINT wine on Loire-style CF.

2015 I. BRAND & FAMILY Cabernet Franc Bayly Ranch Paicines AVA San Benito Co. Central Coast California 12.7

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