2016 Cabernet Franc

A few swirls of our 2016 Cabernet Franc allows all of the sweet cherry, dried cherry, dried herb, tobacco, and white pepper aromas to waft from the glass.  An utterly perfect textural experience that somehow marries fabulous density with ethereal lightness; this simultaneous combination of weight and lift is a signature of our cabernet franc in the best vintages.  Its full richness and dark fruit are balanced with enough acidity that it paired beautifully with the steaks I grilled tonight; it’s been a while since I have enjoyed a young wine as much as this 2016 Cabernet Franc.  This is another fantastic showing of our Cabernet Franc, which year in and year out, may be my favorite wine we produce.  We recently opened a 1998, 1999, 2000 vertical of our Cabernet Franc that were all sensational with perfect tannin resolution, the signature light-footedness across the palate, and lovely complex flavors; everything you could want from aging wine for 20 years.

Ripening along a similar time frame to our merlots, our two blocks of cabernet franc were night-harvested on October 12th and 22nd. While our cabernet francs retain great acidity as they ripen in the vineyard, we typically blend in a bit of either merlot, if the wine is needing lushness, or cabernet sauvignon, if the wine would benefit from structure. This year the winning combination was 13% cabernet sauvignon from our Rock Arch block, and 9% from our newly replanted Callie’s vineyard block (planted with budwood taken from Rock Arch in 2013).

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Appellation: 62% Napa/ 38% Sonoma
Vintage: 2016
Harvest: November 2016
Fermentation: Stainless Steel
Cooperage: French Oak
Blend: 78% Cabernet Franc
22% Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol: 14.5%
Bottling: April 2018
Production: 1453 cases
Release Date: August 2018
Release Price: $70.00


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  • Jeb Dunnuck: - Rating: 94

    The 2016 Cabernet Franc comes primarily from the Napa side of the mountain yet has 38% from Sonoma. It has an almost Pomerol-like sexiness in its dark, chocolaty currants and cassis fruits and this carries to more underbrush, incense, graphite, and scorched earth aromas and flavors. Beautifully balanced, polished, and elegant, it has terrific depth of fruit, moderate tannins, and a great finish. It’s a terrific Cabernet Franc to enjoy over the coming 10-15 years.

  • California Grapevine: August 2019 - Rating: 91

    Medium-dark ruby; attractive, ripe, spicy, perfumed, dark cherry and blackberry fruit aroma with hints of dried herbs, mocha, sandalwood, and white pepper; full body; tight, textured, cedary, dark berry fruit flavors with spicy notes; full tannin; lingering aftertaste. A bit tight and rough at present, though should benefit from several more years of bottle aging Very highly recommended. 14.5% alcohol; 1,453 cases; blended with 22% Cabernet Sauvignon; released August 2018. (Group Score: 16.3, 3/2/4; My Score: 17 [91/100], second place)

  • The Wine Advocate: Issue 240 - Rating: 91

    Blended of 78% Cabernet Franc and 22% Cabernet Sauvignon (all from Sonoma County), the medium garnet-purple colored 2016 Cabernet Franc is scented of cranberry sauce, kirsch, black cherries and stewed plums with touches of mossy bark, pencil lead, bay leaves and underbrush. Medium-bodied, the palate bursts with juicy red and black fruit flavors plus loads of herbal sparks. Textured by chewy tannins, it finishes with fantastic freshness. 1453 cases were made.

  • Wine Enthusiast: - Rating: 90

    Blended with 22% Cabernet Sauvignon from the estate, this wine is thick in sandalwood, red currant and dried herb, structured and balanced in ripeness. The tannins are well integrated and supportive, allowing room for fresh acidity to brighten its lushness. VIRGINIE BOONE

  • Vinous: December 2018 - Rating: 92

    The 2016 Cabernet Franc is a very pretty wine that brings together the natural richness that is such a Pride signature, along with attractive Franc nuances that add layers of nuance. Dark plum, cocoa, spice and leather are some of the many overtones that develop as the 2016 opens up with a little bit of air.
    Antonio Galloni. Tasting date: September 2018