In today’s Cellar Note we share our tasting notes for two wines made by Andrew Jones. To be honest, Andrew Jones is a new winemaker to us and, as it turns out, his story is pretty interesting. Both wines are tasting samples that came to us by chance — a chance encounter on Twitter with Mark Aselstine, co-owner of Uncorked Ventures. Somehow, we Cabernet Franc lovers just find each other.
2016 Field Recordings Franc — light ruby in the glass and slightly cloudy. Generous aromas of dried alfalfa mingle with blackberries and a suggestion of dried mint. Flavors of just-ripe blackberries and blueberries combine with dried tobacco leaf and dusty earth. Acidity is noteworthy and tongue-tingling. The body is on the light side of medium and tannins are drying and well integrated with the flavors. More old world in style than California. 12.5% abv. $20
This is a Cabernet Franc that makes me think of the Loire Valley rather than Paso Robles. It’s lighter in color and lighter-bodied than almost every California Cabernet Franc I’ve tasted. It’s acid-driven, lean but flavorful and just the kind of red wine I want in my glass on a warm evening. It would be just the thing to pair with roasted chicken.
100% Cabernet Franc is sourced “from hidden vineyards across Paso Robles, California” and aged for 6 months in neutral French oak barriques. Like it says on the bottle, “Local Knowledge, Traditional Techniques.”
2015 Barter & Trade Cabernet Sauvignon, Washington State — medium ruby in the glass with crushed gravel and red fruit aromas. Ripe blackberry and cranberry flavors are backed by dusty earth, cedar and tobacco. Minerality lingers on the finish with drying and slightly grippy tannins as well as fruit flavors. Give this medium-bodied Cab some time in the glass to unwind itself. It gets more interesting with time. 13.9% abv. $20 average price according to Wine-Searcher.
This Cabernet Sauvignon is made in a not-too-ripe style with a fair amount of influence from oak aging. Serve it with roast beast, pasta or pizza.
The front and back labels of the Barter & Trade Cabernet give us lots of information. This second annual edition Washington State wine was sourced from the Columbia Valley, then cellared and bottled in Paso Robles. It is a blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc, 4% Merlot. It was aged in equal portions of new and used French oak.
Andrew’s job as a vine nursery fieldman keeps him on the road, a lot, looking for vineyards and at vineyard sites. He understands soil, vines and climate. He wrangles grapes from the most interesting sites to produce his eclectic range of wines. And he’s not afraid to put his wine in cans. Interesting guy. Interesting wines.
Paso Robles is a wine region we have yet to explore. We usually just drive through it on our way to Santa Barbara (probably shouldn’t admit that.) As I suggest you check the Field Recordings website for information about wine tasting, I admit I will do the same and plan to stop by for a tasting sometime.
Thanks, Mark, for the introduction to these interesting wines.