Intense aromas of black and red cherries, wild flowers and licorice are framed by subtle hints of dried pipe tobacco. The wine unfolds in the mouth with a plush texture and rich, fleshy yet vibrant cherry fruit flavors, followed by a mocha-redolent finish perfectly balanced by minerality and an energetic structure.
Vineyard & Vintage Notes
A fourth consecutive winter of low rainfall characterized the beginning of the 2009 growing season. Fortunately, spring frost events were reduced in severity and number compared with the previous year, although budbreak was similarly delayed. And, while cumulative rainfall was low overall, the atypically late timing of the precipitation delayed irrigation needs, while a warm spell in June helped curtail excessive canopy development. The remainder of the summer and early autumn was steadily warm and dry. These ideal growing conditions led to optimal flowering, veraison and harvest, although the mildness of the year delayed timing of these critical events in the annual cycle of the vine. This mild weather coupled with prolonged hangtime produced wines which balance freshness and richness perfectly. Moderate crop levels in Cabernet franc achieved through judicious early cluster thinning, producing wines of magnificent concentration.
Our Mitsuko’s Vineyard Cabernet Franc was harvested in the cool of the night, permitting us to achieve a prolonged cold soak period prior to the onset of fermentation; this practice results in enhanced ease of extraction of color and tannins from the grape skins during fermentation. Fermentation proceeded with natural yeasts, giving us complexity in flavor and a sense of ‘place’ from the vineyard’s indigenous yeast populations. Extended maceration for two weeks on the skins following primary fermentation softened tannins and stabilized color. After pressing, malolactic conversion occurred in barrel, and the wine received several rackings during elevage to aid in natural clarification and to round out its structure. The final blend was assembled in tank in early March of 2011, before bottling in mid-April of that year.