Cabernet Franc Signature 2015
Viking Estate Vineyard
92pts - Jeb Dunnuck
92 points, Jeb Dunnuck
The 2015 Cabernet Franc Signature Viking Estate Vineyard is also gorgeous, and it spent 20 months in 90% new French oak. Black raspberries, blueberries, violets, earth and spring flower characteristics all emerge from this silky, polished, impeccably balanced Cabernet Franc that has fine tannin, solid mid-palate depth and a great finish. Drink it anytime over the coming decade.
91 points, Vinous
Brilliant ruby. Smoke-tinged cassis, dried cherry and licorice aromas show very good clarity and peppery spice and pipe tobacco flourishes. Juicy and energetic on the palate, offering intense red and dark berry flavors and a strong suggestion of star anise. Silky, seamless and well-focused on the finish, which features harmonious tannins and lingering spiciness.
If first impressions count the wine is immediately suave and luscious in its ripe cherry fruitiness, brightened with baking spices and a sense of chocolatey unctuousness. Initially aromatics show heirloom heart-of-rose and sandalwood nuances followed by a dense Mexican mole infused black plum mid-palate culminating in a long, languorous finish that speaks of the precision of its mountain pedigree.
Adelaida planted 1 ½ acres of Cabernet Franc in 1991 on the steep south facing slope of our celebrated Viking Vineyard. These mature vines are the primary source for this limited bottling, a mere 134 cases. No blending here, this 100% varietal wine shows the warm climate personality and softer, aromatic side of its progeny, Cabernet Sauvignon. Together with Merlot it is the dominant grape responsible for the majestic Premier Grand Cru Classe wines of Chateau Cheval Blanc (the wine that a despondent Miles drank in the final scene of the movie ‘Sideways’). Thought to show its best attributes when planted on well drained chalky limestone soils it is a hidden gem in our portfolio. Continuing the long central coast drought, 2015 produced a reduced crop due to an unusual cool spell during the delicate pollination that precedes grape development. These ‘shot berries’ that failed to ripen were separated during harvest processing using an optical scanner, able to identify and reject individual flawed grapes among many thousands that are gravity fed down a slanted table. Grapes were harvested in the cool early morning hours in multiple picks over the hilly terrain throughout the month of September. Fermented with indigenous yeast cultures in open top wooden foudres, the new wine was moved to barrel for an extended ageing of 20 months, 6 barriques of new French oak.
Aroma: Blooming English roses, ripe black cherries, Christmas spice box, chocolate nibs
Flavor: Plum clafoutis, Mexican mole spices, fine Belgian chocolate, cherry skin
Pork loin stuffed with dried fruit in an orange cider sauce, braised turkey thighs with pancetta and shiitake mushrooms, venison medallions in meat stock reduction with spring vegetables and hand turned chateau potatoes
Planted in 1991, Viking Vineyard marks Adelaida’s first estate vineyard and stands as a true Cabernet site. Located 14 miles from the ocean in the coastal-influenced Adelaida District, Viking Vineyard grows among the steepest slopes on the Adelaida property, with elevations reaching 1,900 feet. Sitting on a precipitous south-facing slope, the site presents a challenging environment for growing grapes. Defining characteristics of Viking Vineyard include calcareous limestone soils, south facing slopes, and a mountain-like micro-climate that elevates UV absorption.
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