Vineyard and Winemaking Facts: This heavily extracted Cabernet Franc is from mountain fruit and has a deep dark plum color showcasing the intense color capacity from grapes of low yielding vines. Concentrated blackberry, cassis and huckleberry aromas overwhelm
the glass and are backed by integrated spice notes. The grower Ron Mansfield has a degree in renewable agriculture and organically farms this vineyard (though not certified) using sustainable practices for over 35 years. Ron also grows tree fruit such as peaches, nectarines, apples and pears and we lovingly tease him that he is the most noteworthy producer of the $3 peach you can find seasonally at select Whole Foods stores nationally. We have produced Cabernet Franc grown by Ron for over 20 years, the 2017 was our 20th. The entire vineyard only produces about 500 cases a year but it’s worth it (because it’s so good).
The origin of Cabernet Franc is simply the parent of the more popular “King of Grape Varietals” Cabernet Sauvignon which is a cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. This is a very special wine with limited production from a hillside, red dirt soil, single vineyard at an elevation of 1,600 feet within the Sierra Mountains in El Dorado. This vineyard is 25 years old and is head-trained allowing more sunlight into the canopy and therefore a reduction in Pyrazines which are responsible for green and vegetal aromas and flavors. We depict this brand with our version of a Scrapper (a fighter) because the varietal has quickly been forgotten in the shadows of the more popular varietal Cabernet Sauvignon. Our scrapper image happens to be the image of Gene Tunney who was the 1926 Heavyweight Champion of the World. Most modern day people have never even heard of him. Well, have you ever heard of Jack Dempsey? A little history lesson here; Gene Tunney defeated Jack Dempsey for the 1926 crown, but it was the second time he defeated the more popular fighter (no one else ever did that). So to complete our metaphor, if Gene Tunney is Cabernet Franc, clearly Jack Dempsey is Cabernet Sauvignon so we then ask you, which is the better varietal because we know who the better boxer was.
Tasting Notes: This dry farmed Cabernet Franc is a concentrated, inky plum colored red that is subtle in its approach with its silky tannins and generously integrated French oak lactones. The intense aromas are replete with dark fruits such as ripe huckleberry, blueberry and rich cherry vanilla with cassis tannins. The palate gives way to more of the same juicy blackberry and dried cherry flavors with cigar box, cedar and integrated French oak notes with vanilla. The finish is soft, supple and complete with plush tannins and silky oak tones which interplay with generous fruit notes and contemplative spice and earth tones. This is a very special wine with limited production and is from a single vineyard at elevation 1,600 feet within the Sierra Mountains in El Dorado. It drinks well in it's youth while sturdy, but will mature gracefully for 20+ years Food Pairings: This wine pairs well with grilled New York steak with sautéed mushrooms with shallots and fresh herbs like marjoram and oregano. If it is fish you are after, try it with soy infused Sea Bass with Oyster Mushrooms and fresh ginger in a soy broth. It’s also absolutely fantastic with grilled Unagi nigiri and a hit with Impossible Burgers while watching the big game!