Broc Cellars popped onto the radar via Chambers Street Wines rather hastily.  After their interview with Chris Brockway, I felt compelled to try a couple bottles; epecially the Cabernet Franc (which quickly sold out – sorry).  When you see numbers like 12.5% (as in alcohol content) or even 11.9% (for the Cab Franc) for red wines from California then it makes one take a second look.  Can that be right, or even possible?  I have rarely seen a California red wine below 13.5%, let alone below 12%.  So it was with great enthusiasm that I purchased these wines from Broc Cellars.  I can say that Chris Brockway is onto something, and fans of lower alcohol wines should take note.  The wines I tried both had great noses and were lite in body, allowing them to go down easy without fatiguing the palate.  I guess somewhere in my mind I was left wanting a bit more out of the wines though.  Was it because they were from California and this is what we expect?  Would I have thought twice if they came from the Loire or the Rhone or Sicily from some hot bio/organic/natural producer?  At any rate, it is nice to see someone entering the fold in California with a gutsy play of low alcohol wines.  Based out of Berkeley, I also can’t help but thinking of Edmunds St John when it comes to the ethos behind Broc Cellars.

Broc Cellars Cuvee 12.5 Red Wine – Santa Lucia Highlands ~$21.99

Plum skin and zesty black berry, and a hint of pepper; this is a pleasing nose.  Fresh and a bit prickly in the mouth at first.  Falls a bit short on the finish though.  Mainly Syrah, this is pretty and quaffable, but could use a bit more depth for my palate.  I love the nose; like the wine to be honest.  Reminds me of a lite styled Sicilian Frappato.  Could be served slightly chilled?  RECOMMENDED

Broc Cellars 2010 Cabernet Franc – Santa Barbara County

Unmistakable Cab Franc nose.  Green peppers, spearmint, green peppercorns, and a touch of earth.  Nose is again very appealing.  Zippy on the palate and Loire like.  Whole cluster fermentation.  I am sure you will not find another USA Cab Franc that comes in at 11.9% ABV, let alone maybe another USA red wine?  There is some real success here.  RECOMMENDED