2012 Cabernet Franc Alegría Vineyards
Best of Sonoma - California State Fair Wine Competition
Rich spicy aromatics of forest floor mingle with black cherry and a brambly dark berry essence. The smooth entry reveals a ripe cherry and cranberry core laced with subtle cedar notes. Traces of pomegranate and orange zest appear as the finish lingers. Integrated tannins and oak gently frame the palate, adding depth and structure.
This elegant and complex Cabernet Franc reflects Alegría Vineyard’s microclimate that is strongly influenced by cold fog that rolls up the Russian River Valley. There is often a 40˚ temperature swing from the afternoon high to the nighttime low. The fog lingers until late morning followed by warm, sunny afternoons. 2012 was an exceptional vintage (no frost, no heat spikes, and no rain during harvest), which allowed each variety in the field blend to fully develop its distinctive flavors, aromas, and textures.
Our Cabernet Franc vines ripen slowly, so we picked most of the crop at the end of October. The Merlot ripened earlier than the other varieties, so we picked and crushed a small lot (50/50 Merlot and Cab Franc) on October 3, and blended the two lots together before barreling.
Both lots were cold-soaked to let enzymes extract color, flavor, and aroma before fermentation began. Bill’s selected combination of barrels elevated fruitiness and added notes of cola, spice, and cedar, during 16 months of barrel aging.