1998 Pride Mountain Sonoma County Cabernet Franc

SKU #301529 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 I am amazed by how spectacular Pride Mountain's Cabernet Franc continues to be. The fabulous 1998 Cabernet Franc is a noteworthy achievement in this difficult vintage. Its deep purple color is accompanied by a gorgeous bouquet of cedar, spice box, black fruits, smoke, and earth. In the mouth, there is a smorgasbord of sweet black fruits with a hint of dried Provencal herbs. Opulent and full-bodied, with marvelous concentration yet an eerie sense of weightlessness, this rich, complex 1998 can be drunk now as well as over the next decade. Bravo! (RP)  (12/2000)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Medium-deep ruby. Aromas of black raspberry, blackberry, licorice, violet and sexy oak. High-pitched, juicy and very intensely flavored; less lush today than the merlot, with a stronger impression of acidity and backbone. Enticing floral and bitter chocolate flavors in the mouth and on the long aftertaste, which features dusty tannins and avoids the dryness and greenness of the vintage. This is superb franc by the standards of any year. Along with the warm Dalla Valle hillside just outside Oakville, Pride has some of the most impressive cabernet franc grown outside France. (ST) 90+  (5/2001)

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Cabernet Franc

- While Cabernet Franc, a parent with Sauvignon Blanc to the ubiquitous Cabernet Sauvignon, frequently plays second fiddle in Bordeaux blends (though it does get more props on the Right Bank, where it dominates Cheval Blanc), this lighter, higher acid/lower tannin, early-maturing, perfumed red varietal is far from a wallflower. It is the headliner in the Loire Valley appellations of Saumur-Champigny, Bourgueil, St-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil, Chinon and Anjou-Villages, where it makes exceptional, food-friendly wines. Outside of France, Cabernet Franc can be found in northern Italy, particularly in Friuli and in California where it is frequently used as a blending grape in Bordeaux-style wines. Heartier in the cold than Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab Franc is gaining a foothold in northern and eastern wine regions like Canada, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).