Cabernet Sauvignon, Moon Mountain District Sonoma County (2014)
This is an elegantly structured Cabernet with lush flavors of dark fruit and graphite. Soft tannins and notes of spicy oak merge with a touch of cocoa powder on the lengthy finish.
The fruit for this robust Cabernet Sauvignon comes from one of Sonoma’s newest AVAs - the Moon Mountain District of Sonoma County, a region striking for its high elevation vineyards and rugged, volcanic soil. Rising from 400 to 2200 feet on the western side of the Mayacamas, the Moon Mountain District has thin, fast-draining soil and hot, dry summer days, ideal conditions to grow deeply colored grapes with intense, concentrated flavors.
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 underwent a two-day cold soak to extract optimal color and flavor and each individual component was fermented separately to optimize structure and tannin integration. Secondary malolactic fermentation occurred in French oak barrels, 50% new, followed by 20 months of aging before final blending and bottling.
Best of Class & Gold Medal
Harvest Challenge Competition
BLACK PEPPER SCONES & BALSAMIC STRAWBERRIES
• 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
• ¼ cup sugar
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• ¼ teaspoon baking soda
• ½ teaspoon baking powder
• ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
• ? cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream
• 1 large egg yolk
• 1 basket strawberries
• 1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
• 1 tablespoon sugar
Preheat oven to 400°F.
In a medium bowl or food processor, mix together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder and black pepper. Dice butter and add it to the flour mixture. Using a food processor, pastry cutter or two forks, work the butter into the flour mixture until it's evenly
distributed and smaller than the size of peas.
Place cup + 1 tablespoon of heavy cream and egg yolk in a small bowl and beat together. Then pour over the flour mixture and stir until a shaggy dough forms. (Don't overmix, but incorporate well.)
To create the scones, divide the dough into four even portions, form circular mounds and place on a baking sheet. Brush scones with the remaining heavy cream.
Bake for 10-13 minutes, until a inserted toothpick comes out clean and they are lightly brown on the edges.
While the scones bake, slice strawberries and place in a medium bowl. Add balsamic vinegar and sugar, then gently mix until sugar is dissolved.
Top each scone with strawberry mixture and enjoy.
Recipe created by St. Francis Executive Chef Bryan Jones