2013 Cabernet Franc Alegría Vineyards
Best of Sonoma & Gold Medal - 2016 California State Fair Wine Competition
The nose offers a full complement of enticing aromatics: ripe blackberry, dusty dark cherry, and cassis with hints of black licorice and forest floor. Cedary oak and supple tannins gently frame the core of rich black cherry tart. Dried currant, plum, mocha, and subtle baking spices join mid-palate as the flavors integrate before lingering in the finish.
Compared to its progeny, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc is more aromatic, less tannic, and more versatile at the dinner table. Co-fermenting with Petit Verdot, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Tannat added extra dimension and complexity.
2013 was an exceptional vintage. A dry winter led to early budbreak and an early harvest. Extensive hand labor (leaf removal and crop thinning) kept the vines in balance. Our open trellis system gave the grapes good sun exposure for color and flavor development.
The crushed grapes were cold-soaked for three days while enzymes extracted color, flavor, and aroma before fermentation began. We used Brunello yeast [BM45] to enhance color, fruit, and spiciness, and D254 Rhone yeast to enhance mouthfeel. Bill's selected combination of barrels added notes of cola, spice, and cedar during barrel aging.