2014 Napa Valley Cabernet Franc
Only 70 cases available of super small-lot Napa Valley Cab Franc!
Pours dark in the glass with a deep ruby rim, more akin to pure Cabernet than the finished blends that typically include Petit Verdot and Malbec (which darken Cabs and give it purple edges). Fresh out of the bottle, the nose is a bit concave with spicy dark fruit, graphite, olive, and herb de Provence greeting the nose. Light florals and hints of cherry emerge with some swirling, but at the end of the day, this wine is still unpacking itself. There’s tons of density to the aromatics, and I’m confident the pretty perfumes and elegant, spicy fruit that originally made this wine so beguiling will soon be ready for prime time. Refined and seamless on the palate, with overall velvety texture and persistent length that speak volumes of the pleasures to come. I’d say cellar this until the fall 2018, at the earliest.
Sourced from a vineyard in the Pope Valley (which is adjacent to Howell Mountain, on the opposite side of the Vaca Range from Rutherford and St. Helena), Lot 626 is a wonderful, elegant wine quite true to the varietal. 28 months in barrel, but it it should be noted that this is not a wine of tremendous extraction and color. Rather, what we have here is an ethereal beauty - full-bodied no doubt, but more about complexity and purity than it is largess. $60+ under its original winery label.