This limited bottling offers the opportunity to discover the intriguing personality of Cabernet Franc, which is a variety often used in blending Bordeaux-style wines. We sourced Cabernet Franc from the Tamagni Vineyard on the northeast side of Napa Valley, just south of Calistoga. The relaxed, high-quality 2012 vintage fostered exceptionally rich, ripe flavors with impeccable balance. Textbook Napa Valley. In its youth, this wine will benefit from the decanting prior to serving.
Barrel Aging: 21 Months, 100% French Oak (30% New)
Varietal Composition: 94% Cabernet Franc, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Malbec
Production: 393 cases
“This was a great vintage for Cabernet Franc,” says Winemaker Trevor Durling. “The warm, sunny 2012 growing season gave this wine exceptionally ripe flavors and plush texture. The effusive boysenberry and black cherry aromas will draw you in, and then you’ll discover more subtle hints of coffee bean, bay leaf and oak spice. On the palate, the rich entry of flavors fans out into multi-dimensional dark-fruit and spice expression. The round, refined tannins are well structured, yet friendly. On the lingering finish, I perceive warm nuances of clove and ginger, as well as toasty vanilla, caramel and mocha, from the new oak barrels. We recently served our Cabernet Franc with braised pork with muhummara (a Mediterranean sauce of blended roasted red bell peppers, pomegranate and walnuts) and it was fabulous!”
Exceptional Cabernet Franc grapes from Tamagni Vineyard, which is located along the Silverado Trail just south of Calistoga, were the catalyst for our decision to make this special bottling. Cabernet Franc is often used to enhance the framework of Bordeaux-style wines, but this warm vineyard site, with its well-draining, low-vigor, rock-and-clay soils, yields a wine with all the elements to shine on its own. Malbec, with its deep, ripe plum character comes from Peppone Vineyard, also located in Calistoga. A splash of Cabernet Sauvignon, from Georges III vineyard in Rutherford, completes the wine’s myriad of flavors and plush texture.
The relaxed, high-quality 2012 harvest was a winemaker’s dream. The ideal growing season—well-timed rains, no frost during budbreak, and perfect weather for bloom, berry-set and ripening—was textbook Napa Valley. Long stretches of sunny days coupled with foggy nights gave our 2012 wines exceptionally rich, expressive flavors and impeccable balance. We had no weather pressures from either pending rains or excessive heat to rush the harvest. Instead we had the luxury of waiting until the grapes reached absolutely perfect maturity.
After hand harvesting the fruit and then hand sorting it twice at the winery, we gently destemmed the grapes to retain at least 60 percent whole berries. Three days of cold soaking before fermentation gently extracted the deep purple color and rich varietal flavors from the skins. Following fermentation, extended skin contact and gentle pressing, the wine completed malolactic fermentation in barrels to round the acidity. Three gentle rackings naturally clarified the wine, while barrel aging married the rich Cabernet Franc flavors with toasty oak tones. Bottled unfined.