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.