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Young Inglewood Cabernet Franc: A Surprise from Napa

Young Inglewood Cabernet Franc: A Surprise from Napa

Just off Highway 128 on the stretch between Rutherford and St. Helena, you would be forgiven for suspecting that Young Inglewood is yet another new face in the heart of the Napa Valley producing over-priced wines. But they are open for visits, so go there, and you will discover something very different.

First, you’ll notice the small size and the laid-back feel. This is a winery run by a mother-son duo, and both the mother and the son live right on the property (though in separate houses). Vines abut the houses, as if they were gardens. It’s a true family operation that feels more like Burgundy than Napa.

Then you’ll taste the wines, and you’ll be even more taken aback. The aesthetic here is decidedly old school and old world. Everything is just a little bit lighter, a little bit more balanced. There is a touch more herbaceousness in the wines, a little more mineral. It helps that you are in a part of the valley that is good three or four degrees cooler than further upriver (where the maritime effect is less pronounced).

Young Inglewood goes even further with a line of wines they call Venn. In this lineup, the goal is to make the kind of very drinkable wines that are fairly easy to find during your vacations in Europe but not so easy here. Not too expensive, not too serious, very delicious.

Young Inglewood Napa Valley Cabernet Franc VENN 2020 $49.99
Today we offer the Venn Cabernet Franc. As you might expect, this is modeled loosely on a Chinon - the great Loire Valley AOC famous for its highly drinkable Cabernet Franc – but there is also a sunniness in the wine that only California can offer. It’s an honest, very drinkable, and extremely delicious wine.


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