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Wine of the week: 2013 Steele Cabernet Franc 

Lake County, California

Retail $17

Cabernet Franc is one of the major grape varietals and one of five red grapes in Bordeaux-style blends, along with cabernet sauvignon, merlot, malbec and petit verdot. Cabernet Franc was planted in France's Loire Valley and the Libourne region in the 17th century and now is produced in many regions. Grapes for this wine were sourced from Lake County, California. The Steele team sources some fruit from vineyards as high as 2,700 feet. The area's warm days and cool nights foster grapes that produce wines with balanced acidity and fine tannins. At Steele, hand-picked grapes ferment for 18 days and are maintained in separate vineyard lots. The wine is barrel-aged for 14 months in American and French oak and blended right before bottling. In the glass, the wine offers aromas of cassis, plum, red berries and hints of oak spice. On the palate, taste raspberry, black currant, coffee, cocoa notes and peppery undertones. Decant 15 minutes before serving. Drink it with meat, fowl, game, barbecue and hearty dishes such as beef stew, lasagna and moussaka. Buy it at: Langenstein's in Metairie.


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