2016 Cabernet Franc, Ascona Vineyard,
Santa Cruz Mountains

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Release Date: Fall 2017

Production: 110 cases

Vineyard: Ascona Vineyard is located on a sloping plateau at an elevation of 2,400 feet in the Santa Cruz Mountains (home to such famed wineries as Ridge and Mt. Eden). Though Ascona gets abundant sunshine, its elevation keeps it cool. This, and the site’s well-draining decomposed sandstone and shale soils, provide ideal conditions for growing Cabernet Franc, allowing the grapes to ripen without getting overly sweet.

Harvest: Though yields were low and the harvest was early, the 2016 growing season produced another exceptional vintage. To preserve the high natural acidity we prize in our wines, we picked our 1.5 acres of Cabernet Franc on September 23 at 23.5 Brix.

Fermentation: We fermented our Cabernet Franc in open-top tanks, using native yeast, and 20% whole cluster to underscore the varietal’s herbal, savory side. We pressed using a basket press, and aged the wine for 10 months in 2/3 concrete egg to preserve freshness, and 1/3 2-year-old barrels for structure and mouthfeel.

Cellar Notes: This wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered, in August of 2017.

Technical Notes:
Alcohol: 12.5%
pH: 3.68
Total acid: 6.1 g/l
Malolactic fermentation: 100%

Tasting Notes: This expressive wine displays a gorgeous nose of blueberry, black raspberry and pencil shavings, as well as layers of rose, lavender, violet and smoke. On the palate, fine tannins underscore a savory mix of dark fruit, dried flowers, Kirsch, gunpowder and licorice.

Vision: This wine takes its inspiration from the wonderful Cabernet Francs of the Loire region. After looking for an ideal vineyard site for many years, I found what I was looking for at the family-owned Ascona Vineyard—an ideal mountaintop site for growing a savory and sophisticated expression of Cabernet Franc.