There are a handful of varietals that I find too intriguing to ever turn down. Petite Sirah and Charbono are two, the third is Cabernet Franc. What they have in common I suppose aside from being red of course, is varying degrees of scarcity. If you go from tasting room to tasting room in Napa as one example you’ll find lots of Cabernet Sauvignon. However you’ll be able to count the number of times you run across these varietals in a day on one hand. That’s only part of the story though. Lots of other varieties are even harder to come by and I don’t chase them to the ends of the earth. These wines each has something that makes them both unique and interesting in many cases. So when someone offers me a taste, it doesn’t matter when or where, I nod my head and say, “yes please.” Today I’ll look at a Cabernet Franc from Napa Valley producer V. Sattui Winery. The V. Sattui Winery 2007 Cabernet Franc was produced using fruit mostly sourced in Alexander Valley. This wine is mostly Cabernet Fran (93.8%) with small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon (3.9%) and Merlot (1.4%) blended in. The fruit came from two vineyards; most from Ramazzotti in Alexander Valley and a smaller amount from Henry Ranch on Mt Veeder. Fremenation took place in open top stainless steel. Barrel aging followed in a combination of new (50%) and used (50%) French oak. 637 cases of this selection were produced and it sells for $30.
Blueberries and plum lead the nose of this 2007 Cabernet Franc along with hints of leather. The palate is loaded with rich, layered berry flavors. Blueberry, red and black raspberry and blackberry each make their presence known. Droves of earth, cherry, pepper spice and dusty baker’s chocolate are part of the finish which has excellent length. Firm tannins yield with some air.
This wine is a fine example of Cabernet Franc. The small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon makes its presence known in the structure of this wine. This is a very solid value for $30.