30 Nov Please The Palate Wine of the Week: Dracaena Wines 2019 Cabernet Franc, Paso Robles
There is a wine holiday for every grape and December 4th each year is Cabernet Franc Day. The day was created by Lori and Mike Budd, founders of Dracaena Wines in Paso Robles. So, as we get ready to celebrate Cabernet Franc Day, I am enjoying the Dracaena Wines 2019 Cabernet Franc from Paso Robles, the Please The Palate wine of the week.
Lori and Mike were dating in 1994 when they first tried a Cabernet Franc. And, that wine set them on a mission to find more. While Cabernet Franc is found in many wine blends, it was harder to find single varietal bottlings of Cabernet Franc. As they dated, Lori and Mike started drinking wine and pairing it with food. The more they tasted, the more they learned, and then they started traveling to wine regions. At the time, they were living in New Jersey, but they started talking about going to California.
They bought a property in Arroyo Seco with the plan to retire there one day. It was while traveling to Arroyo Seco that they discovered Paso Robles and fell in love with the area. They started making wine at home and sharing it with friends. And the feedback was so positive, they decided to try making commercial wines.
As they looked around Paso Robles, they thought about what would be their flagship wine. They did not want to do Zinfandel or Syrah. They thought perhaps Cabernet Franc would stand out, and at the very least, if they failed, they could enjoy the wines themselves. Their first vintage of Dracaena Wines Cabernet Franc was in 2013. They made 75 cases and that wine received 92 points in Wine Enthusiast. They were clearly not going to fail.
The winery was named Dracaena [druh-see-nuh] in honor of their beloved dog Draco, a weimaraner. Draco received his name in honor of Draco, the Dragon which is a constellation in the northern hemisphere. Dracaenais the genus name of the plant better known as the Draco plant. The taxonomy name allowed them to combine their scientific backgrounds while honoring the memory of their adored weimaraner Draco in their winemaking endeavor.
In 2015, when Lori and Mike were about to release their 2013 Cabernet Franc, Lori realized that there was a wine holiday for so many wine grapes but not Cabernet Franc. She choose December 4th which is the anniversary of the death of Cardinal Richelieu’s who loved Cabernet Franc and is responsible for transporting vine cuttings from Bordeaux to the Loire Valley.
Lori went on social media asking people to drink Cabernet Franc on December 4th and it started trending. Since 2015, every year on December 4th, we celebrate Cabernet Franc Day.
Lori and Mike source their Cabernet Franc from the Plummer Vineyard in Paso Robles. Under the Dracaena label, Lori and Mike make a Reserve Cabernet Franc which is 100% Cabernet Franc. But their classic Cabernet Franc is always at least 75%, but hovers around 90% Cabernet Franc. Lori says it is fun to blend, and the Dracaena Cabernet Franc is different every year.
The 2019 Dracaena Cabernet Franc ($34) is a blend of 91% Cabernet Franc and 9% Petit Verdot. While Cabernet Franc, an early ripener, can have herbal notes thanks to the pyrozines, the Dracaena Cabernet Franc has no green or herbal notes. The wine has aromas of dark cherry, baking spice, plum, dusted chocolate, and cassis. The Petit Verdot gives the wine a backbone. On the palate, the wine is structured but has velvety tannins.
Food pairing with Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Franc is a food-friendly wine that can pair with fish, veggies, and meat. Try tuna, salmon, charcuterie, roasted chicken, grilled meats. So many choices!
Where to purchase
You can purchase direct from the winery at Dracaena Wines.