August 2012 Fla

Wines Worth Barking About

By: Rachel Burkons

What is not to love about a French Bulldog? From their stubby, stumpy little legs, to their oversize ears, these are dogs with personality aplenty. When creating a wine in homage to such a peculiar pup, it’s only fitting that one of the wine world’s biggest personalities steps up to the plate: Jean-Charles Boisset, whose canine companion Frenchie has inspired a wine experience that’s for the dogs—in a good way.

Frenchie, King of Frenchie Winery, with Winemaker Jean-Charles Boisset.

As the King of Frenchie Winery, on the site of Raymond Vineyards in St. Helena, CA, Frenchie and his dad (mom is Gina Gallo, winemaker at Gallo Family Vineyards) have worked to make Napa Valley a dog destination, perfect for any wine-loving pup—and its owners. “No dog should ever be left behind,” explains Boisset, who also helms the ship at not only at Raymond but also at Sonoma’s Buena Vista Winery and DeLoach Vineyards, among other properties in the growing Boisset Family Estates portfolio.

“Our four-legged family members are welcome to enjoy Frenchie Winery, complete with custom wine barrel dog beds for their personal enjoyment and comfort! Meanwhile, guests can watch their furry friends from a monitor in the Raymond Winery tasting room while they imbibe on Frenchie’s wines,” continues Boisset.

While a dog-friendly flair may make Frenchie stand out, the focus remains, as always, on crafting wines that could win Best in Show: “I personally sniffed out the best vineyards to source from,” chimes in Frenchie, who graces the labels in historically stylized portraits, “and my playful, debonair and aristocratic style is reflected in my winery and wines.” 

Frenchie 2009 Napoleon
(SRP $30), which features the pup-as-Emperor on the bottle, is a red blend with beautiful dark fruit character, depth and cassis kisses; well-balanced and approachable, this is a wine that doesn’t need a leash.

Frenchie is gilded and horse-mounted á la The Sun King for Frenchie 2009 Louis XIV Cabernet Sauvignon (SRP $30), a bright, captivating wine with juicy berry fruit and a totally drool-worthy finish that’s perfect for any time spent with your favorite posh pup.


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