When we first decided to plant vines, we had our soil and climate analyzed to find the perfect grape variety for our vineyard. As it turned out, the unique combination of rocky soils and bay-influenced weather is ideal for the closely related Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc varieties, both of which are well known for their contribution to the classic blends of Bordeaux. And while we could plant other varieties, why bother? It would just take away vineyard space from the Cabernet, and the results wouldn't be as good.
Our Cabernet Franc is planted in the northernmost corner of the vineyard in the highest elevation and poorest soils. From that adversity comes a small yield of exceptional grapes, showing time and time again that character develops from challenge.
2012 Estate Cabernet Franc
13.6% Alcohol by Volume
This was an extremely limited release, given that the vast majority of our 2012 Cabernet Franc grapes went into making a dessert wine. It spent over two years in French oak and has been evolving in the bottle since early 2015.
Aromas of plum, licorice, and pepper make for a strong opening for this wine, matched by a full-bodied mouthfeel full of smoky black fruit and a savory lingering finish.
Firstly, this was an intense year for our vineyard, so feel free to let this bottle breathe. Hit all the right notes by pairing this herbaceous wine with a braised pork with fennel and olives, or if you're looking for something with a little less preparation you can't go wrong with smoked gouda.
2013 Estate Cabernet Franc
13.6% Alcohol by Volume
Although historically used as a blending grape to soften and add its signature spicy aroma to other grape varieties, we have kept Cabernet Franc as the sole grape in this wine. It spent just over two years in new French oak, and is an excellent example of our estate style and vineyard.
This wine is a textbook Cabernet Franc, with rich aromas of baked strawberry, white and black pepper, and a little savory roasted bell pepper mixed in. It has a silky feel now, and if it is anything like our previous vintages, will continue to evolve for many years with a slowly lengthening soft, smoky finish.
Enjoy this wine with grilled beef or salmon, mushrooms, olives or smoked ham. Rosemary-centric roast pork emphasizes the earthiness in the wine and contrasts the strawberry nose, or it makes a simple and fun pairing with a nutty Asiago or Manchego.
2014 ESTATE CABERNET FRANC: Bottle Aging, Not Scheduled for Release
2014 ALEXANDER VALLEY CABERNET FRANC: Scheduled for Bottling Spring 2017