It's beginning to feel like winter, which means it's time for a sturdy, delicious red like this North Coast Cabernet Franc from Lang & Reed. The Skupny family has been into Cabernet Franc since the early '90s, and for this 2012 bottling, they gathered up grapes from Lake, Napa, Sonoma and Solano counties — quite the mix of terroirs.
Earthy and lush, this one has deep dark fruit, a whiff of wild herbs and berries and that black pepper punch so characteristic of Cabernet Franc. It's a live one and changes in the glass.
Open a bottle for a burger, grilled lamb chops, a pork roast. It's also great with Moroccan tagines, any kind of barbecue and grilled sausages.
I'm a big fan too of Lang & Reed's more expensive "Two-Fourteen" Cabernet Franc from the Napa Valley and also the Chenin Blanc from Mendocino. Keep an eye out for those bottles next time you're perusing your wine shop shelves.
Price: $20 to $28
Style: Vibrant and lush
What it goes with: Burgers, lamb chops, pork roast, tagines and barbecue
Where to find it: BestWinesOnline in Santa Ana, (888) 817-8880, http://www.bestwinesonline.com; K&L Wine Merchants in Hollywood, (323) 464-9463, http://www.klwines.com; Los Angeles Wine Co. in Los Angeles, (800) 854-8466, and Palm Desert, (760) 346-1763, http://www.lawineco.com; Total Wine & More at many locations, http://www.totalwine.com; Wally's Wine & Spirits in West Los Angeles, (310) 475-0606, http://www.wallywine.com; the Wine House in West Los Angeles, (310) 479-3731, http://www.winehouse.com; and Woodland Hills Wine Co. in Woodland Hills, (818) 222-1111 and (800) 678-9463, http://www.whwc.com.
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