Crossing valleys, today's stop for the 12 Days of Cabernet Franc, finds me in Sonoma. Acorn Winery was born in 1994 after Betsy & Bill Nachbaur purchased Alegría Vineyards. Some of the vineyards they took over (Zinfandel mostly) date as far back as 1890. Their focus has been on Field Blends and Estate grown wines. Using sustainable practices has also been an important piece of their operating philosophy. Acorn Winery makes approximately 3,000 cases of wine per year. The 2006 Acorn Cabernet Franc is from fruit sourced at their Alegría Vineyard in Russian River Valley. This wine has 4% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot. This Franc was aged in a combination of French, American, and Hungarian oak for 17 months, 54% of it was new. 379 cases were produced, and the suggested retail price is $32.
The nose of this Russian River Cabernet Franc is filled with plum, violets, cedar and a hint of earth. The palate, which really speaks of this wine's origins, has dark berry notes, black pepper, and more toasty oak. The finish has lots of the earth that was only hinted at earlier as well as a hint of chicory and a touch of sour cherry. This wine has firm but approachable tannins and good acidity. Like the other Acorn wines I've had previously this Franc is made to enjoy with food. I had it with Gnocchi in Wild Boar Ragu, which was a tremendous match.
What struck me most about this wine, was its deceptive levels of complexity. The first handful of sips washed over me. After that though, the wine really started opening up, and revealing its subtle and complex layers of both dark fruit, and earth. This offering scores points on two other fronts. It's both an excellent example of Cabernet Franc and a terrific example of the sorts of wine Russian River can produce.
Up Next: 4 More Days of Cabernet Franc!