Renowned French winery proprietors, Gonzague Lurton and Claire Villars-Lurton, have outdone themselves with ACAIBO in Sonoma County. Gonzague and Claire Lurton both come from families deeply connected to the wine industry in Bordeaux, France. Over the decades, the Lurton family has acquired more than a dozen prestigious Bordeaux estates. And the Villars oversee four distinguished estates. Combined, the couple brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and passion to the Sonoma County wine scene.
True to their French roots, their estate vineyards are farmed in an Old World style that honors and respects the land. Sustainable and organic farming practices, in addition to some biodynamic principles, guide their viticulture. Trinité Estate, the name of their 24-acre vineyard, is located along Chalk Hill Road. The sloped site has some modest elevation at 750 feet, with the Russian River flanking its west side and Alexander Valley and Knights Valley AVAs bordering its eastern edge. It is here in the Chalk Hill AVA that they grow the classic Bordeaux varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc.
Early-morning picks by hand and hand-sorting are two guiding harvest principles that allow ACAIBO to have so much concentration and quality in the wine. Harvest is followed by stainless steel fermentation, malolactic fermentation, and 12-18 months of aging in French oak barrels. This traditional and minimalist approach during harvest season and winemaking craft a wine with genuine character.
The 2015 ACAIBO is a wine reminiscent of classic Bordeaux, while still expressing its California heritage. A bountiful bouquet of black cherry cola, warm cranberry compote, cured meats, and fresh tobacco leaf grace the nose of this immediately aromatic wine. Crafted from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc, the palate shows approachable tannins, fresh acidity, and layers of structure. The wine’s profile is refined and balanced, with subtle notes of blueberry and cocoa—boasting more texture, body, and complexity than fruit. The 70% new French oak is integrated beautifully, and the wine drinks closer to that of a French Bordeaux than what some might call a “big, California Cab.” This Cabernet-dominant blend is big in personality, but not in alcohol or overripeness. It’s smooth with a lingering and seductive finish.
With Christmas just around the corner, I can easily see this wine complete a wonderful dinner pairing. The 2015 ACAIBO will couple up nicely with a classic Beef Wellington or a hearty Prime Rib Roast. Happy Holidays!
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