Wine Of The Week: Darcie Kent Stone Patch

A superb California wine for its price point with bright flavors of black cherry, raspberry and curry leaf.

One of my favorite tastings of 2023 — high praise, considering I went to almost 100 — wasn’t in Napa or Bordeaux. It was in the Livermore Valley, a small wine-producing region just outside San Francisco.

It’s in this tiny pocket of wine country where Darcie Kent makes joyous, exacting wines out of a neon purple barn. Kent’s great-grandfather founded a winery in Missouri in 1883 and in 1996, Kent — a visual artist by trade —  continued the tradition by starting her own winery. Her ethos remains artistic, so expect colorful labels painted by Kent and creative bottlings with a unique point of view.

A personal favorite is the Stone Patch Cabernet Franc. It’s a sharp, witty wine with a palate that paints with flavors, notably bright raspberry, curry leaf, and black cherry. The tannins are a whisper, which lets the flavors sing. I found a bottle in my cellar recently and was blown away all over again — it’s practically unparalleled for this price point. $50

Kate Dingwall is a WSET-trained sommelier and spirits writer. Her work has appeared in Wine Enthusiast, Eater,, and Food & Wine, and she pours wine at one of Canada’s top restaurants.