2011 Mount Veeder Cabernet Franc Napa Valley
79% Cabernet Franc, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 6% Petit Verdot
APPEARANCE: Deep garnet
AROMAS: Sweet blackberry, licorice, and dried cherries, waft out of the glass with hints of violets, and tobacco following. Touches of sage, marjoram, and peppercorn add additional layers of complexity to this wine.
FLAVORS: Soft, round forest berry fruit expression with dark cocoa, truffle, framboise and notes of rosemary and bay. Beautiful rich, silky texture with an elegant mouthfeel and smooth, velvety finish of cassis, cherry and bay.
2011 was another cool growing season. December was very wet, with January very dry and warm. La Niña brought more late-winter rains and spring showers through the end of June. The rainfall total for 2011 concluded at 125% of normal. Two weeks of summer heat at the end of September led to the harvest of Malbec, the first grapes picked from Mount Veeder on October 3rd. With an impending rain event, our vineyard crew worked to open up the canopy with leaf removal for air flow and sun exposure in early October. For the last three weeks of October, the skies cleared and the sun came out for a fantastic long stretch of dry weather. The rain and cool weather of early October paused ripening, and the Indian summer got maturation rolling again. Cabernet Franc on the mountain tends to ripen later than the other Bordeaux varietals. The first block of Cabernet Franc on Mount Veeder was harvested on October 29th, with the last blocks arriving on nearly our last day of crushing on November 1st.
Mount Veeder Winery was one of the first producers of Cabernet Franc, and was the first vineyard in California to plant all five Bordeaux varietals. This is a truly noble grape variety, as the father of Cabernet Sauvignon, with its own personality and characteristics that reach terrific expression on the mountain. Cabernet Franc offers a complex array of characters –plums, cherries, peppercorn, violets, olive, and tobacco, and gives quintessential Bordeaux expression. I love its power with refinement, richness with elegance. The high elevation and steep hillsides of our vineyards create small berries of intense concentration. We have only a small amount of Cabernet Franc planted, so it’s a treat to be able to create a limited production bottling of this special variety.