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Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Scrapper Returns to the Ring

The 2010 Scrapper
It was right around New Year’s Eve of 2012 when we tasted the 2009 vintage of Vinum Cellars “The Scrapper” 100% Cabernet Franc. We were blown away at how a Cabernet Franc that tasted this good and this luxurious could come from vineyards in El Dorado County, two hours east of San Francisco. Don’t the great Cab Francs of California always come from Napa Valley? Cab Francs from there consistently impress us and are most-often found on our shelves. We’ve carried the Arrow & Branch, Crocker & Starr, Cultivar, Sika and Stepping Stone, along with many others. So, why source grapes from El Dorado County?

Richard Bruno and Chris Condos, the winemakers from Vinum Cellars, are setting the bar for Cabernet Francs grown outside of Napa. El Dorado is one of the oldest (as well as most overlooked) wine-growing regions of California. Shortly after the Gold Rush of 1849, the county started growing grapes and it did not take long for the region to be amongst the largest wine producers in the state. After the fall of the economy in the early 1900s, viticulture virtually disappeared in the region. About half a century later, wine grapes made a resurgence and in 1983, El Dorado was designated an American Viticulture Area or AVA. Today, El Dorado has more than 2,000 acres of vines planted and home to approximately 50 wineries.

Winemakers Chris and Rich
We recognized the great value this wine had on our shelves and in our Wine Club. It showcases excellent fruit from a relatively unknown California AVA while simultaneously displaying the wonderful characteristics of a 100% Cabernet Franc wine: pepper, green vegetal notes, raspberry, and earth flavors. Another bonus to not having “Napa Valley” slapped on a label is pricing. This Cabernet Franc tastes just as wonderful as some of the more expensive Napa wines but at a fraction of the price.

You can imagine our delight when the new vintage of the Scrapper arrived! A wine this good sticks in your memory. We have customers all over the country who have been waiting, just like us, to taste the 2010 vintage. This is a wine that surpasses its predecessor. Aromas of plum and black cherry leap from the glass as a smooth, silky palate of ripe plum and spice greet your taste buds. The tannins soften as the wine opens in your glass and boast a layered finish that lasts for nearly a minute.

We are thrilled to have the new vintage back on our shelves and in our customer’s glasses. You can find it at Bacchus & Venus for $35 and $30 for Wine Club Members.

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