2011 Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Franc
At Duckhorn Vineyards, we have been working with Napa Valley Cabernet Franc for over a quarter century, exploring its ability to add elegance and complexity to our blends and its capacity to produce stand-alone wines of stature and sophistication. Incorporating both valley and mountain-grown fruit with an emphasis on older vines, low yields and warmer vineyards, our Cabernet Franc offers beautiful varietal notes of dark cherry, raspberry and red currant with hints of tobacco leaf and graphite.
91% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon
100% French oak, Chateau-style barrels (60 gallons)
Barrel Aging: 15 months
Age of Barrels: 50% new, 50% second vintage
This is a complex and compelling wine with aromas of blackberry, dragon fruit, spiced plum, dried herbs and espresso. On the full-bodied entry, firm, fine-grained tannins add to the age-worthy structure, while contributing lovely richness to brooding flavors of black raspberry, graphite and tobacco leaf.
In one of the coolest growing seasons in memory, we benefited greatly in 2011 from our 35 years of experience farming Bordeaux varietals. To counteract uneven vine growth due to unusual spring weather, we did meticulous green thinning. We also gently opened up the canopy to expose the fruit, were judicious in our picking schedule, and sorted meticulously both in the vineyards and winery. The majority of our Merlot came in before the October rains, and due to our quality adjustments the remainder of our fruit fared well until it was harvested. Warm up-valley locations like Oakville, Rutherford, St, Helena and Calistoga were particularly successful, and overall the resulting wines are pure and elegant.