Cabernet Franc, Wild Oak Vineyard, Sonoma Valley (2015)
Often used as a key component in Bordeaux-style blends, Cabernet Franc is an elegant, flavorful grape that makes an outstanding wine on its own. Expressive aromas and flavors of dark raspberry, dried sage leaf, and a note of espresso are balanced with a touch of acidity. The wine has a broad, rich finish and moderate, smooth tannins.
2015 brought an early and light harvest that began on August 10, the earliest date in St. Francis’ history. The year started out very warm and dry but then cool, damp weather in May hampered fruit set. Though the result was smaller, looser clusters on the vine, the warm and consistent summer that followed produced high quality fruit with exceptional aromatics and concentrated flavors.
The Sonoma Valley, a historic wine-growing region, is ideally suited for growing high quality wine grapes. Our Certified Sustainable Wild Oak Estate Vineyard, located at the foot of the Mayacamas Mountions in the heart of the valley, is the source for our Cabernet Franc grapes. 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 Visitor Center.
We grow two clones of Cabernet Franc on our estate vineyard, counting on each for different characteristics and flavors. One of the clones expresses darker blue fruit flavors and dense tannins while the other reveals bright red fruit flavors with more floral notes and acidity. The grapes are gently de-stemmed before cold soaking for two days 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, 35% new.