Cabernet Franc

Sonoma Valley

Rhinefarm’s Cabernet Franc is known for its rich, savory, peppery character and intense dark fruit flavors. French oak usage adds sweet smokiness and fresh coffee beans to the mix. It’s a heavy, dense wine that is only available through the Bacchus Club and direct from the winery.

Philosophy

Among the few California Cabernet Franc producers, our Sonoma Cabernet Franc is one of our very small production wines. Rhinefarm delivers some pretty fantastic tannin and weight to this grape. It’s often used as a blending grape in France, where it’s originally from, but bottling this varietal alone offers a glimpse into the spicy characteristics inherent in Rhinefarm’s soil. Some years our Cabernet Franc can be floral and others, spice-driven. But never boring. We let the grape be what it wants to be while still keeping an eye on it during the growing season — we have to limit the water to balance the fruit load in the vineyard. The resulting wine is bold and expressive with pretty florals and sometimes dried spices. In blending, Cabernet Franc helps with spicy aromatics in our Vintage Reserve and the Cabernet Sauvignon. Although it’s difficult to wait to enjoy it, this wine will continue to improve up to 10 years from vintage.

Vineyards

Our 4 acres of Sonoma Cabernet Franc were planted in 2005 on a beautiful, secluded hillside at 100 feet elevation. With its southwestern exposure, considerable slope and rocky soils, this site is proving to be outstanding for this varietal. With Rhyolitic ash and alluvial wash soil, the vines must struggle to reach root depth, producing deeply colored, extracted but balanced wines.

To make the wine, we hand-harvest in the cool morning hours, the fruit is destemmed and delivered to a stainless steel fermenter. The must is inoculated with a prepared yeast and received gentle pump-overs until it was pressed out. The wine aged for 16 months in French oak barrels, 40% new.

Pairing Riffs

At Gundlach Bundschu, we make great wine but also like to have a little fun. Here are some Cabernet Franc food pairings and alternative ways to enjoy our Cabernet Franc:

  • While listening to funk music
  • While watching a James Bond marathon
  • Food pairings:
    • Peppercorn crusted steak
    • Herb roasted lamb chops
    • Grilled Portobello mushrooms
    • Anything featuring eggplant
  • Cheese pairings: Strong cheeses (especially stinky ones), hard goat’s milk, Camembert

specifications

Vintage:
2014
Wine Type:
Red
Varietal:
Cabernet Franc
Varietal Composition:
  • 91% Cabernet Franc
  • 3% Petit Verdot
  • 3% Merlot
  • 3% Cabernet Sauvignon
Appellation:
Sonoma Valley
Acid:
TA: 0.52 g/100mL
PH:
3.8
Barrel Aging:
  • 16 months
    100% French oak, 40% new
    Vicard & Quintessence
Alcohol %:
14.9%