The 2016 Cabernet Franc is full bodied, deeply purple and full of dark red and black fruit aromas. These enticing flavors are led by ripe plums, blueberry, and red currants, with silky, grainy tannins and notes of white pepper, chocolate, herbs and a hint of menthol. Full of personality and character, it will continue to reveal itself over the coming decade.
|100% Cabernet Franc
|Aged 20 months in 100% French oak (25% new)
"Made of 100% Cabernet Franc aged in 25% new French oak for 20 months, the deep garnet-purple colored 2016 Cabernet Franc Steinhauer Vineyard features beautiful redcurrant jelly, kirsch, mulberries and black cherries scents with touches of pencil shavings and potpourri. Full-bodied and jam-packed with red and black fruit, it has loads of earthy sparks and a firm, chewy structure, finishing long. 468 cases produced, to be released in February 2019." - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate, October 29, 2018
The lots were kept separate through fermentation and aging to retain the individual terroir characteristics of each part of the vineyard. After gentle crushing and destemming, the juice and skins were sent to small fermenters where color, flavors and tannins were slowly extracted from the skins as vinification progressed. The wine was then aged in custom-toasted French Nevers oak barrels (25% new) for 20 months. The extended time in barrel allows the big, bold tannins in the Howell Mountain Cabernet Franc enough time to soften, and the aromas from the barrels become well integrated with the ripe fruit characteristics of the wine.
The extended drought was beginning to cause real concern as the 2016 growing season kicked off, but some welcomed winter rain hinted at the relief to come. After a relatively dry January we enjoyed significant rainfall in February, along with mild temperatures. Bud break was early, but was slowed by heavy April showers. While still early by historical standards, picking began about a week later than 2015, and continued at a leisurely pace, allowing the grapes to reach full flavor maturity. A traditionally sized harvest followed the lighter showing of 2015, and the extended season helped to balance the acids and add complexity to the layers of flavors. Warm temperatures arrived as harvest began, but ultimately, everything came together in the best possible way.
Originally known as Tre Colline for its memorable undulating terrain, the 36-acre benchland vineyard was renamed in 2003 to honor Beringer’s long-time vineyard manager, Bob Steinhauer, who helped establish the reserve level vineyards across Napa Valley. At 1,800 feet elevation, southwest facing on Howell Mountain, just northeast of Angwin, Steinhauer Ranch features volcanic iron-rich soils notable for their rich red color, with a friable, loose texture. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc thrive in the sparse, infertile soil where cool mountain temperatures with high solar radiation above the fog line allow grapes to languish on the vine, developing bold tannins and distinctive notes.
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