WineSmith 2006 Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc, the father of Cabernet Sauvignon, is one of the most challenging of grapes. Excellent wine only results from a rare convergence of technical skill, an artisinal hand, a well-farmed vineyard in the right place and a vintage blessed by Mother Nature.

In 1993, we chose this high-wire act as our signature varietal. Since then, we have worked hard to establish our reputation for producing some of California’s best Cab Francs. Our 2006 is perhaps our finest effort to date.

Joe Ramazotti’s living soil in the Alexander Valley grows grapes with unusually lush plum aromas and fine tannins, resulting in a generous sweet core of fruit with very little vegetal character. Working in synergy, Blue Rock Vineyard’s nearby serpentine hillside gives us fruit with an angular, aggressive component which frames and lends definition to the blend. We blended in Mark Lange’s impressive Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon for a more fleshy structure and some chocolaty aroma notes. After 27 months ensconced in small French cooperage, the cuveé developed intense spice aromas and a mineral energy classically associated with Chinon wines, along with the graceful structure and roundness more often seen in Cab Francs from St. Emillion.

Bright and firm, our Franc offers a mouthful of spicy flavor and depth which loves firelight, wild mushrooms and roasted fowl. This wine is to be enjoyed now and can will age gracefully for 10 years or more in a well tended cellar.


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