2014 Cabernet Franc Alegría Vineyards
Double Gold Medal – 2017 American Fine Wine Competition
91 pts & Gold Medal – 2017 Winemaker Challenge
One of blogger Sarah Stierch's Top Wines of 2018
Appealing aromas of creamy vanillin oak with cranberry, cherry, violets, and cedar. The entry suggests a mix of tart cherry, cream soda, and raspberry. Mid-palate, hints of baking spices and creamy mocha appear and merge with the smooth, bright cherry flavors that continue through the finish.
Cabernet Franc is more aromatic, less tannic, and more versatile at the dinner table than its child, Cabernet Sauvignon. Ours is a field blend, co-fermented with small amounts of Malbec, Merlot Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Tannat to add extra dimension and complexity.
In the cool Russian River Valley climate of Alegria Vineyards, even in a warm year like 2014, the grapes ripen slowly and evenly, allowing each variety in the field blend to fully develop and contribute its distinctive flavors, aromas, and textures.
A drier than normal winter led to early budbreak and an early harvest. Extensive hand labor (crop thinning and leaf removal) kept the vines in balance. Our open trellis system gave the grapes good sun exposure for color and flavor development.
The crushed grapes 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 put more emphasis on French oak barrels this year, from six different coopers, to provide smooth mouthfeel and notes of cola, spice, and cedar during 17 months of barrel aging.