2011 Franciscan Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 1.5L
86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 2% Petite Verdot, 1% Syrah, and 1% Cabernet Franc
Complex and vibrant aromas of red plum, cherry, and forest berries mingle with deeper notes of violet, earthy tobacco, and leather, accented by hints of vanilla. Dried herbs like marjoram and oregano add complexity. A smooth and silky texture on the palate frames generous flavors of ripe plum and dark cherry, with notes of vanilla and black pepper. Smooth tannins and well-integrated structure tie together and linger in the long finish.
2011 was another cool growing season. December was very wet, with January very dry and warm. La Niña brought more late-winter rains and spring showers through the end of June. The rainfall total for 2011 ended up at 125% of normal. Two weeks of summer heat at the end of September led to the harvest of the first Bordeaux reds off of our Oakville Estate Vineyard on October 3. With an impending rain event, our vineyard crew worked to open up the canopy with leaf removal for airflow and sun exposure in early October. For the last three weeks of October, the skies cleared and the sun came out for a fantastic long stretch of dry weather. The rain and cool weather of early October paused ripening, and the Indian summer got maturation rolling again. It was unseasonably warm on some days, even reaching 90°F in Oakville on October 23. The last Franciscan Oakville Estate Cabernet Sauvignon was picked on October 24.
Over three decades ago, Justin Meyer took over the winemaking at Franciscan Estate with a highly meticulous approach. Dividing our Oakville Estate into sections, he fermented and aged each vineyard block separately to bring out the best expression of each lot, then blended the best lots together to create wines of distinction. Thus began our tradition of small-lot winemaking, which I am proud to continue today. Each vintage, we make over 200 separate lots of Bordeaux varietals, honing the blend during 18 months of barrel aging. Only the finest lots are included in each glass of Franciscan Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, to show the best of the vineyards and the vintage. ~ Janet Myers, Winemaker