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 2013 vintage surpassed even the highly touted 2012 vintage in grape quality. In its youth, this wine will benefit from the decanting prior to serving.
Barrel Aging: 22 Months, 90% French Oak (43% New), 5% New Hungarian Oak, 5% New American Oak
Varietal Composition: 94% Cabernet Franc, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon
Production: 428 cases
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. Our 2013 Cabernet Franc opens with effusive boysenberry and black cherry aromas, with 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. Well-integrated oak character, suggesting baking spice, caramel and mocha, lifts the aromas and lingers on the deliciously long finish. The refined tannins have just the right amount of “grip” to stand up to sizzling steaks, roasted pork loin rubbed with herbs, lamb kebabs, and other boldly flavored entrées, or aged cheeses.
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 as the primary grape variety. A small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon, from Hewitt Vineyard in Rutherford, completes this wine’s myriad of flavors.
The 2013 vintage surpassed even the highly touted 2012 vintage in grape quality. A winter with very low rainfall was followed by a dry, warm spring and summer. These factors resulted in balanced vine canopies, good fruit set and small, concentrated grapes. Perfect weather throughout harvest fostered intense, beautifully balanced and expressive wines.
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. Barrel aging married the rich Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon fruit flavors with toasty oak tones.