In a nutshell: A full, rich and dark Californian Cabernet Franc
The lowdown: This is made from 45 year old vines in what's reputed to be the largest single Cabernet Franc vineyard in the world (this is the USA) situated in Lodi, central California. Floowing fermentation it spends just two months on oak to help the structure but at the same time allowing the true flavour and character of the fruit to show at its best. Bright notes of juicy red fruits are complimented by blackcurrant leaf notes so typical of Cabernet Franc. It's a smooth, medium bodied and easy drinking wine that strikes a lovely balance with its blackberry, plum and dark cherry fruit characters coupled with classic varietal leafy tones.
When to drink: Very much a food friendly wine and one that really lends itself to vegetarian dishes and also works well with tomato sauce based recipes.
The story of Boutinot's route to wine making is a bit different to many others in both what they do and how they go about it. As well as growing and making their own wines in France and South Africa they work with a multitude of other producers across the world in putting together good value wines that hit the right spot in the market. And over the years their skill and expertise has built them an excellent reputation.
Things started back in 1980 when Paul Boutinot, who was in charge of sourcing wines for his father's restaurants, disappointed at the quality of wines then available in the UK went to France to look for better quality wines at better prices. This led, in 1989, to him blending his own wines in France and, in 1993, to producing specially sourced wines from South Africa. Over the years they've built on this and whilst still a major distributor of agency wines they now produce wines on their own account in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Chile, USA, France and Spain. While there are many great producers of top quality premium wines around Boutinot's focus unfailingly falls on making value for money wines that don't compromise on quality and time has shown how good they are at it.