100% 2014 Cabernet Franc, Sunstone Estate, Santa Ynez Valley
The result of a cool vintage, this Cabernet Franc displays classic French leanness, offering vivid aromas of wild blackberry and plums, which give way to wild sagebrush and hints of the fragrant undergrowth prevalent in the hills of this area. A glossy mouthfeel is framed by fresh acidity and moderate tannins.
Sunstone’s 25-acre vineyard was planted in 1990 by the Rice Family to Merlot, Cabernet Franc (2.5 acres), Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Mourvedre and Viognier, and is completely farmed in an organic, bio-sustainable manner, meeting the highest organic farming standards in viticulture. Sunstone is the oldest, continuously organically grown vineyard in Santa Barbara County.
Made of 100% organically grown grapes from the Sunstone Estate, the Estate Cabernet Franc comes from a gravelly-sand block on the middle terrace at the property. Soils with moderate water-holing capacity and excellent drainage produce balanced vines and a small crop of tiny berries—perfect for making the intense wines for which Sunstone is known. The fruit, picked at 24.7° Brix, were de-stemmed and gently crushed to small open top fermenters and, after a 2-day cold-soak, spent an average of 10 days on skins to best extract the intense flavors and aromas that the Estate Vineyard produces. After aging for 11 months in 20% new French oak, the wine was filtered and bottled to 315 cases of 12/750mL bottles on September 2015.
Rarely seen bottled on its own outside of France’s Loire Valley, Cabernet Franc can produce a wide range of wine styles, from light and slightly herbal to rich and black-fruited. As one of the parents—with Sauvignon Blanc—of the more famous Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc lends to its progeny a slight herbal character and dense tannic structure.
This medium bodied Cabernet Franc is delicious now, but will gracefully mature over the next 1-4 years, until 2020.
Bion Rice, Director of Winemaking
Jose Gomez, Cellar Master
Guadalupe Chavez, Assistant Cellar Master
Titratable Acidity (TA): 0.56
Volatile Acidity (VA): 0.076
Residual Sugar: 0.23 g/L