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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Tuesday Tasting: Raymond Burr 2003 Cabernet Franc

Tuesday Tasting is a regular feature of Lyke2Drink that explores some of the best beers, wines and spirits on the market. This week we head to California to taste a wine named for a late actor.

Celebrities with their names on drinks brands have become pretty common these days. Some are nothing more than marketing ploys. Not the Raymond Burr brand, named for the late actor who made the television characters Perry Mason and Ironsides household names.

Burr and his partner, fellow actor Robert Benevides, first agrarian love was the cultivation of hybrid orchids. Sea God Nurseries produced orchids in Fiji, Hawaii, the Azores Islands and Southern California. The pair extended their efforts to grapes in in 1986 on land in the Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma. The first vintage came from the vineyard in 1990. The winery has won a number of awards, particularly for its big reds.

To create the Raymond Burr 2003 Cabernet Franc, winemaker John Quinones blended 5 percent cabernet sauvignon grapes with the estate grown cabernet franc grapes. the result is a rich, deep wine with blackberry and dark ripe cherry tones. There is a slightly smoky base to the wine that gives it a polished stature. At $38, the wine deserves a good steak or a hearty pasta with freshly picked ingredients.

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