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Ian & Becky Atkins started the urban winery Flat Brim, where they create enjoyably bright wines to share with friends at dinner parties, rooftops & front porches. The couple owned several successful restaurants in El Paso before catching the wine bug & moving to Oregon to begin producing their own bottles. They focus on minimal intervention winemaking techniques & source grapes from throughout Oregon & Washington.
Cabernet Franc was the first wine the Atkinses made, and they’re always excited to receive the first grapes of the season. The grapes for Flat Brim come from the Rogue Valley in southern Oregon, which they consider a “Goldilocks zone” for Cabernet Franc. Here, it’s warm enough to allow the grapes to ripen fully, but cool enough to keep the sugars low. The soils in the 1300ft elevation vineyard are composed of river rock & alluvial silt, bringing a beautiful, stony minerality to the wine. Indigenously fermented then vinified whole cluster to bring savory tones to the final blend, the juice then ages in neutral French oak for 8 months.
The deep, garnet color of the wine ushers in notes of roasted red New Mexican chiles, Australian licorice & brown butter. Dried cherries, rhubarb pie, sunflower seeds & wet stone follow before a pleasant finish. Tart, spicy & a little funky, it’s a great pairing for fall soups & stews and roasted vegetables.