WineSmith 2004 Cabernet Franc
Because of our day job as winemaking consultants, we decided in 1993 to establish this challenging grape as our signature varietal – it’s a wine which requires skill to do well, and is capable of great depth when properly made. Since then, we have developed the reputation for some of California’s best Cab Francs. This is perhaps our finest effort to date.
Joe Ramazotti’s living soil on the Alexander Valley floor produces unusually lush plum aromas and fine tannins, resulting in a generous sweet core of fruit and very little vegetal character. We blended in his Cabernet Sauvignon for a more fleshy structure. By contrast, Blue Rock Vineyard’s nearby serpentine hillside gives us an angular, aggressive component which frames and lends definition to the blend. During 15 months’ time in small French oak, the blend developed intense spice aromas and mineral energy classically associated with Chinon, but a graceful structure and roundness more often seen in St. Emillion.
Less muscular than our Cabernet Sauvignon, our Franc nevertheless offers a mouthful of spicey flavor depth which loves firelight, wild mushrooms and roasted fowl.