2017 Cabernet Franc

Santa Barbara, CA

  • Producer

    Lo-Fi Wines

  • What we love

    LO-FI Wines highlights the unique grape varieties, winemaking styles, and growing sites in California’s Santa Barbara. Their carbonically macerated Cabernet Franc is as interesting as it looks. Tart, very fruit-forward, and above all fresh, this wine shows notes of bright cherry, raspberry and herbal complexity. In a field of strong, new-wave Cabernet Francs that show the best of California’s inventiveness, this made us take note. It’s a no-brainer for the adventurous wine drinker (and sour beer fan).

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About this Wine

Carbonic maceration is a way of fermenting red wine that differs from the standard, yeast-fueled fermentation. Unlike standard fermentation, in which yeast is to convert sugar into alcohol, carbonic maceration does not use yeast to start fermentation. How is this possible? It’s a complicated matter, but by placing whole bunches of grapes in a sealed vat filled with carbon dioxide, the oxygen-starved fruit will release naturally present enzymes. These enzymes perform a similar function to yeast, breaking sugars down into alcohol. Essentially, during carbonic maceration, alcoholic fermentation begins inside the grape itself. Cool, right?

For those who love gulpable, fresh, fruity reds, or even for white wine lovers trying to embrace reds, carbonic maceration is something to try.

Serve slightly chilled, with an antipasti platter or pizza or mac & cheese.

Drink now through 2020.

91 points, Vinous (Antonio Galloni).

  • Technical Data
  • Blend: 100% Cabernet Franc
  • Alcohol: 12.5% | Production: 580 cases
  • Winemaking: Whole cluster carbonic. Aged for six months in a combination of stainless steel tanks (62%) and neutral oak barrels (38%).

Mike Roth & Craig Winchester

LO-FI Wines is a partnership between two lifelong friends - Mike Roth and Craig Winchester - who believe in hand crafted honest wines that are made for every day drinking, with lower alcohol and sugar, and made to pair well with all types of foods, from pizza to paté.

The philosophy behind LO-FI is that wine is a lot like music. The label is named after a musical term for a technical flaw in a sound recording, "low-fidelity (lo-fi)." For LO-FI Wines, the goal isn’t to create wine that is too polished or perfect, but rather, wine that embraces its more natural, raw expression.

In a world of wine scores and the quest for perfection, it’s an admirable approach to winemaking and one that is garnering them lots of good attention. In fact, Mike was named one of the SF Chronicle’s "Winemakers to Watch" in 2015.



Pairing ideas, coming up! Recommendations, we’ve got your back! Ask us anything.