It has distinct aromas of dry leaves in the fall, poblano chili peppers, and sage, with plummy fruit.
The tannins are very soft in the mouth, with an iron-like minerality on the finish. It’s light on the palate but firm at the same time — it’s a wine with many contradictions that is hard to describe with tasting notes. Easy drinking, but incredibly complex. Great with food.
This Cabernet franc represents 2 rows in our home ("MATTHIASSON") vineyard in the Western Oak Knoll area of Napa Valley. The clonal selection was brought from Bordeaux in the late 90s by someone who will remain unnamed—he refers to it as “clone X.” It was grafted onto 15 year old Merlot vines.
Cabernet franc is particularly representative of the site where it is grown, and at its best it is feminine, intriguing, and difficult to understand. Beguiling. We focus completely on the mineral and herbal aspects of its character and end up with a wine that somehow manages to be both delicate and powerful, aromatic, long, and with an ethereal lightness. It’s a completely different expression of Cabernet franc than one usually finds in the new world, informed by the wines of Chinon, but something totally unique in and of itself — a true representation of the terroir of our Napa vineyard, showing a feminine side of Napa that is rarely seen any more.
Because of the soft tannins present in the fruit we included 50% whole clusters in the fermentation. We fermented in small open top bins, with two punch downs per day.
We pressed just after dryness, and aged the wine in neutral barrels for 20 months.