Cabernet Franc, Wild Oak Vineyard, Sonoma Valley (2014)
Cabernet Franc is an elegant, flavorful grape that is often a key component in classic Bordeaux-style blends. This expressive wine has aromas of crushed berries, violet and a note of graphite merging with juicy red cherry, vanilla bean and blueberry compote flavors that precede a long and velvety finish.
The Sonoma Valley, a historic wine-growing region, is ideally suited for growing high quality wine grapes including Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. We source all three varieties from our Certified Sustainable Wild Oak Estate Vineyard, located at the foot of the Mayacamas Mountains in the heart of the valley. The area’s warm summer days are tempered by cool, breezy evenings allowing the grapes to develop complex flavors while retaining acidity. The vineyard property is also the site of the Winery and Tasting Room.
Warm sunny days throughout the spring and summer months set the stage for a spectacular harvest in September 2014. The lack of rain meant that harvest began a little earlier than normal and was short in length, finishing up by the end of October. The temperate days leading up to harvest produced good yields of high quality fruit with concentrated flavors, complex aromatics and excellent structure.
The grapes are gently de-stemmed before cold soaking to extract optimal color and aroma. The fruit is fermented in separate lots, allowing each to be individually and distinctly crafted before being aged in French oak barrels. Before bottling, we blend in Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon to add depth and complexity.
The Wine Advocate
Best of Class & Gold Medal
Harvest Challenge Competition
BRAISED CHICKEN WITH DRIED TART CHERRIES, OLIVES & CAPERS
• 4 chicken legs, separated thighs and legs
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, roughly smashed
• 2 tablespoons blended oil
• 1 tablespoon pastis
• 1 teaspoon champagne vinegar
• 1 cup white wine
• 2 bay leaves
• ¾ cup dried tart cherries
• 1 cup chicken stock
• ½ cup pitted green olives
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
• 1 tablespoon Canola oil
• Salt and black pepper
Combine garlic, thyme, blended oil, pastis and champagne vinegar in a bowl and mix well. Add chicken to the bowl and marinate overnight or at least two hours in refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Remove chicken and discard marinade. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
Heat a roasting pan with 1 tablespoon canola oil over medium heat. Sear chicken, skin side down, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove excess fat from pan, then add white wine and reduce by almost half. Add cherries, olives, capers, bay leaves and chicken stock to the pan. Cover and place in oven for 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
Remove chicken from pan and cover with foil to keep warm. Scrape anything remaining in the roasting pan into a sauce pan and place over high heat on the stove top. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Whisk in butter and parsley. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
Plate chicken, spoon sauce over and serve.
Recipe created by St. Francis Executive Chef Bryan Jones