2010 Cabernet Franc Roman Reserve, Lot 2 (Two Jakes)

Diamond Ridge is located in a sunny high altitude site with rocky granitic soils which force Cabernet Franc to put its energy into pushing its roots down into the rock, resulting in a lively mineral energy in the wine’s finish. These conditions develop good color and firm but refined tannins which impart amazing age-worthiness.

Because of its proximity to Clear Lake, the site is also blessed with a “lake effect” -- a daily visit from the cooling breezes off this deep body of water, largest in the State. The consequence is that the plum and cinnamon aromas the grape develops are conserved. The combination of rich fruit aromatics, firm tannin structure and lively minerality make this among the most complete and collectible expressions of Cabernet Franc in the New World.

William Younger’s “Gods, Men and Wine” offers compelling evidence that the 1,000 year Roman winemaking tradition did not involve sulfites, and we have been exploring with this ancient winemaking tradition since 2001, finding it well suited to high altitude Cab Franc from volcanic soils. These wines seem to take care of themselves very well without added preservatives, offering up incredibly intricate aromatics full of mystery and soul. The difference reminds us of the extra flavor dimensionality one finds in the great unpasteurized French cheeses.

Remarkably stable, these wines require extensive barrel age and reward further cellaring. You will want to decant and breathe prior to serving, and will improve for several days after opening. Although suitable for current consumption with pork and cherries or grilled duck breast, this is really a collector’s wine which will benefit substantially from a few years in the cellar.