2012 Franciscan Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 3% Malbec, 2% Petit Verdot, & 1% Cabernet Franc
Deep garnet in color. Dark cherry, clove, blackberry, and violets open up in the glass, followed by traces of tobacco. Hints of vanilla and cocoa dust add complexity to the rich aroma. Smooth entry, with lively ripe, fresh berries followed by vanilla and cocoa flavors that fill the palate. Smooth and textural, with generous body and supple tannins. Very well balanced. The finish evokes dark cherry and sage, with hints of allspice and vanilla that linger seamlessly.
2012 was a vintage with nearly idyllic growing conditions. After an unusually dry winter, a wet April provided most of our rainfall for the growing season. April proved to be a roller coaster for the vines, offering up a mixture of very wet weather and cold nights that required frost protection, followed by summer-like temperature spikes late in the month. From there, it was smooth sailing for the spring and summer. Lots of sunny, warm days brought flowering 3-4 weeks ahead of 2011. A typically warm summer was followed by a September with cooler-than-average temperatures and clear skies. In early October, a five-day heat wave with temps hitting 95°-100°F and humidity down to an arid 20% brought the focus on the Bordeaux reds to the forefront. The first Cabernet Sauvignon off of our Franciscan Oakville Estate Vineyard was harvested on October 13, with the last to trickle into the winery on October 30.
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