Celebrating #CabernetDay with Concannon Vineyard

Today we are happy to be sipping Cabernet Sauvignon from Concannon Vineyard in California’s Livermore Valley and celebrating #CabernetDay. Yes, it’s another of those wine days! We enjoyed grilled lamb burgers and a burrata salad with tomatoes and basil along side this bright Cabernet, which we received as a tasting sample

The days have become noticeably shorter – sunrise is getting later and the sun is setting much earlier. There is a dampness in the morning air along with the smell of cornsilk and alfalfa about to bloom. All are sure signs that fall is approaching. 

It’s time to begin thinking about red wines again after sipping mostly rosé and white wines all summer. Turns out this Cabernet Sauvignon, made in a lighter style, is the perfect choice for a change of seasons.

2016 Concannon Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Mother Vine, Livermore Valley

2016 Concannon Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Mother Vine, Livermore Valleybright ruby in the glass with generous aromas of red fruit, caramel and earth. Flavors of vanilla, red currants, ripe raspberries and blackberries with hints of earth and spice. Tannins are smooth and the body is on the light side of medium. This wine is easy to sip and tastes youthful and lively. 13.9% abv. SRP $45

This bright Cabernet Sauvignon is blended with 9% Petite Sirah and 5% Malbec. It is aged for 20 months in American and French oak.

Concannon Vineyard was established in the Livermore Valley by James Concannon in 1883. Concannon saw similarities between the gravelly soils in Bordeaux and the Livermore Valley. He purchased 47 acres, built a winery in 1895 and was among the first to make Bordeaux-style wines in California. 

He planted his vineyard with cuttings of Sauvignon Blanc from Château d’Yquem and Cabernet Sauvignon from Château Margaux. James Concannon was a contemporary of Louis Mel, Charles Wetmore and Carl (C.H.) Wente in the Livermore Valley, all of whom were also wine pioneers in the Livermore Valley.

Jim Concannon, third-generation vintner, is credited with pursuing quality Cabernet Sauvignon in California through the UC Davis clonal selection program. Concannon Cabernet Sauvignon Clones 7, 8 and 11 are the result of this collaboration that sourced plant material from one Concannon Cabernet Sauvignon vine (the “mother vine”) identified by UC Davis as Concannon R34 v2. 

Jack Heeger notes, in a 2006 article, that in Concannon: The First One Hundred and Twenty-Five Years, a book written by Jim Concannon, Tim Patterson and photographer Andy Katz, Concannon states that mother vine was planted in row 34, vine 2 of the Concannon vineyard. For more wine geek details on the Concannon clones see this Foundation Plant Services Grapes publication.

Concannon Vineyard estimates that 80% of Cabernet Sauvignon planted in California is a Concannon clone. It seems especially appropriate to celebrate Cabernet Day with a Cabernet Sauvignon from Concannon Vineyard. They make several delicious Cabernets to choose from.

It’s been a while since we have grilled lamb burgers. I had a hankering for a juicy burger with avocado and butter lettuce. Rather than the usual flavorless, doughy hamburger buns I purchased petite French dinner rolls at a local market. I cut them in half and Pete toasted them on the grill. They worked perfectly. 

2016 Concannon Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Mother Vine, Livermore Valley paired with lamb burgers and burrata with tomatoes and basil

Burrata and a medley of tomatoes with fresh basil and a balsamic drizzle completed our meal. The Concannon Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Mother Vine paired perfectly with everything. And, the bright fruit flavors and relatively low alcohol level of the Cabernet were most welcome on a warm evening.

This pairing was just what we were hungry for – a home cooked meal and a California wine – as a welcome home supper upon returning from a wonderful vacation. Happy Cabernet Day!


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