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2002 Mojon's Bench Cabernet Franc, Alexander Valley, Sonoma

I love the fact that small families who have been growing grapes for decades are now moving into the winemaking business. I suppose my own interest in smaller production, boutique wines is indicative of the larger market demand which is encouraging these small producers to come forward with their own labels.

Regardless of the reason, we all stand to benefit when families like the one behind Mojon's Bench make such a decision. I'm kicking myself now for not cornering the owner and his wife and getting a little more information about them and their history in Sonoma when I had the chance, so I have only small bits of information to tell you about the wine. The name of the winery is actually an anagram of the combination of the proprietors' two daughters' names. The family has had an estate in the southern part of Alexander Valley just north of Healdsburg for quite some time and after years of selling their grapes to high-end producers who will go un-named they have decided to release this, their inaugural vintage.

The owner is interested in making wines in the style of Pomerol and while he hasn't fully hit his stride in that respect, they are producing two competent wines that are priced right. I wasn't a huge fan of their Merlot, which had a bit of a green stemmy aspect that I didn't;t care for, but this wine is great and clearly demonstrates that the family has great fruit and knows what they are doing in the winemaking department.

Keep an eye and ear out for this one, they'll be going places. Or better yet, pick up some of their wine before they get a score from someone important and it's impossible to get.

Tasting Notes:
This wine is a medium purple in the glass with an uncharacteristically smoky nose for the varietal with additional subdued aromas of plums. However once its in the mouth it is classic Cab Franc with flavors of blueberries, chocolate, thick but not overpowering tannins and a nice finish.

Food Pairing:
Serve this wine with something rich and savory like these braised beef cheeks that have cocoa powder in the braising liquid.

Overall Score: 8.5/9

How Much?: $25

This wine can be purchased (and it is best done so due to limited production) directly from the winery. Give them a call at 707-431-9146 or visit their website for more information.

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