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Diamond Ridge Cabernet Franc (3)

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Cesare


quality posts: 1626 Private Messages Cesare

Diamond Ridge Vineyards Cabernet Franc 3-Pack
$49.99 $̶9̶1̶.̶0̶0̶ 45% off List Price
2008 Cabernet Franc, Lake County
CT link above

Winery website

-il Cesare
Sole Absolute Triple
Exalted High Tastemaster Supreme
“In the entire world there are only a few sounds that bring joy to all but the most jaded. One is the murmur of a kitten purring. Another is the thwack of a well-pitched baseball hitting a perfectly swung bat. And the third is the pop of a cork being pulled from a bottle of wine.” —George Taber

klezman


quality posts: 123 Private Messages klezman

A bottle of this appeared magically at the SoCal gathering last weekend. I had a taste and for some reason decided to actually write a few notes down.

Pop'n'Pour: Very closed, almost no aroma to speak of. First sip was all limestone and plenty of acid (now seeing the 3.78 pH I'm actually quite surprised...maybe Clark can chime in on perception of acid). A hint of plum - seems like it ought to be a nice wine but it needs a whole lot of time, either in bottle or air.

Some amount of time later (maybe an hour and 6 Zinfandels) the nose is slightly spicy and the palate is restrained and acidic but full of limestone. Not a lot of fruit.

I think Ron took home the remnants of this one, so I'm curious to hear how it turned out!

2014: 32 bottles. Last wine.woot: Scott Harvey Jana Cathedral 3 L
2013: 66 bottles, 2012: 91 bottles, 2011: 92 bottles, 2010: 74 bottles, 2009: 30 bottles, 2008: 3 bottles My CT

winesmith


quality posts: 49 Private Messages winesmith

Hi everybody! Clark Smith here from WIneSmith. I love the woot community, which has an appetite more than most for my somewhat outside-of-the-mainstream wines.

I'm featuring today, per your requests last time, a Cabernet Franc I make for Diamond Ridge Vineyards. Like many of my wines, it's made in a classic, well balanced Eurocentric style, and is surprisingly ageworthy. We had to give it 36 months in neutral oak and two more in the bottle to allow it to manifest a silky texture and intricate bouquet.

cortot20


quality posts: 145 Private Messages cortot20

Tried this at the socal gathering over the weekend along with about 25 other wines so this will be brief. Nice dark fruit nose with the typical green bell pepper that Cab franc is famous for, palate definitely had the green bell pepper as well with nice restrained fruit and medium grippy tannins. Enjoyed it but felt that it could have used another hour or two open. Seems like a solidly made wine.

CT

tytiger58


quality posts: 74 Private Messages tytiger58

I will echo what Klez said, the nose was nonexistent on the PNP but did open up somewhat after an hour or two, and I found it kind of creamy or smooth (in a good way) later in the evening. I thought it tasty when it opened but when mixed in with 20 or so zins it's hard for me to give a really good assessment What say you Ron?

What contemptible scoundrel stole the cork from my lunch? ~ W. C. Fields

“Freedom is something that dies unless it's used” Hunter S Thompson




winesmith


quality posts: 49 Private Messages winesmith
klezman wrote:A bottle of this appeared magically at the SoCal gathering last weekend. I had a taste and for some reason decided to actually write a few notes down.

Pop'n'Pour: Very closed, almost no aroma to speak of. First sip was all limestone and plenty of acid (now seeing the 3.78 pH I'm actually quite surprised...maybe Clark can chime in on perception of acid). A hint of plum - seems like it ought to be a nice wine but it needs a whole lot of time, either in bottle or air.

Some amount of time later (maybe an hour and 6 Zinfandels) the nose is slightly spicy and the palate is restrained and acidic but full of limestone. Not a lot of fruit.



You guys may recall that my last offering was a 2003 Chardonnay (my current vintage) and a 2004 from the same vineyard, not ready to drink.

This wine is similar in many ways. Although this is not a big wine, despite five years of age, it's still rather tightly wrapped.

It's very minerally. By that, I mean that it has a bright buzz in the finish which is often mistaken for acidity, but is further back in the mouth. We enologists have not yet nailed down what this minerality is (I'm firmly resolved to figure this out before I die), but we do know it's in wines from certain soils like limestone, schist and (in this case) decomposed granite.

Minerally wines are very ageworthy. The downside is that they are somewhat closed when young, just as you say. I definitely recommend breathing.

That spicy element in the nose is pure cinnamon - a varietal characteristic of Cab Franc, along with plum and some kind of herb (basil, tarragon or in this case, sage).

On the other hand, the bell pepper or chile pepper you often see is just bad farming or growing it on too rich a site. Our challenging soils and high UV (full sunlight, thin air and reflective soils) ensure that this doesn't happen. So if you've had bad luck with CF, here's your chance to see what it can really do. Although seldom a muscle wine, Cab Franc is capable of more depth and elegance than Cabernet Sauvignon.

winesmith


quality posts: 49 Private Messages winesmith

I started making Cabernet Franc in 1993 for the purpose of learning how to do something really challenging really well. While never as broad and beefy as its offspring, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab Franc is capable of greater depth and interest, unsurpassed in regional variation and distinctive terroir expression. With proper farming, it can be persuaded to drill its roots deep, producing more minerality than any other red variety.

Diamond Ridge Vineyards is a great site for Cabernet Franc. I have always had to blend CF. For example, in 2006, I produced a blend of two Sonoma vineyards, one plummy, round and generous but poorly framed, and the other remorsely tannic but lacking a sweet core. Diamond Ridge is the first California vineyard I have come across that produces a complete wine with both a central core of fruit and a well-framed structure.

Cabernet Franc is exceedingly vigorous, and unless grown in a soil that challenges it will shade itself with leaf canopy. In these conditions, berries do not color up well, and instead produce methoxypyrazines which smell like bell pepper. Lake County’s high elevation and inland location possesses dry, thin air and full sun which create a high UV condition that not only suppresses vegetal aromas but also stimulates production of anthocyanin pigments and the cofactors which help extract them. This effect is amplified by our highly reflective granite and lava soils, which also contain volcanic glass known as “Lake County Diamonds.”

This high UV condition seems to stimulate the production of bright “red fruit” aromas such as (in decending order of “pitch”) strawberry, raspberry, cranberry, grenadine, bing cherry, plum, black cherry. Diamond Ridge Cab Franc has a characteristic aroma I call “white cherry,” somewhere between cranberry and grenadine. I suspect that the darker fruit aromas characteristic of lower-lying appellations (blackberry, cassis, olive) are in part darker because the fruit is masked by deposits of car exhaust in the major tourism areas. So Lake County’s relative remoteness perhaps gives us purer fruit aromas.

The downside of high sunlight is the potential to burn off fruit and cause raisining. In many Lake County sites, the wines have wonderful structure but limited aromatic expression. Not so at Diamond Ridge. Its location on a peninsula extending into the southeast corner of Clear Lake produces a lake effect which has us reaching for our sweaters every afternoon about 3 PM. Check out the videos on twojakesofdiamonds.com.

winesmith


quality posts: 49 Private Messages winesmith
cortot20 wrote:Nice dark fruit nose with the typical green bell pepper that Cab franc is famous for, palate definitely had the green bell pepper as well with nice restrained fruit and medium grippy tannins. Enjoyed it but felt that it could have used another hour or two open. Seems like a solidly made wine.



A good description, though I'd take issue with the bell pepper characterization - I'd say there's an herbal side, but not veggie at all.

But to be sure, this wine is no buxom cheerleader / fruit-forward / power wine. It's very well-knit, but needs coaxing at this stage, like a rose that hasn't bloomed yet. How often do you get a distinctive, highly ageworthy, elegant wine for this kind of money? I highly recommend putting enough of this away to see where it's going.

That said, here's a tip for enjoying it now, based on cognitive research we've been doing to enhance wine by pairing it with music. Environment helps, too. This wine loves to be drunk in the dark, with something on fire, and Springsteen’s Jungleland playing at high volume.

uopianut


quality posts: 0 Private Messages uopianut

I'm sitting here sipping some right now. Has a lot of terroir characteristics. Very refreshing. Plenty of fruit for me. Love the way the dark cherry lingers. could be that it's late at night, but I'm wishing I had a chocolate crepe to go with this.

scooter78


quality posts: 0 Private Messages scooter78

In for 1 just because I feel like I owe it for the lesson I got on CF's from Mr. Smith.

mibuwolf83


quality posts: 6 Private Messages mibuwolf83
scooter78 wrote:In for 1 just because I feel like I owe it for the lesson I got on CF's from Mr. Smith.



He is a wealth of knowledge, for sure. I had a feeling that he'd be back this week, too!

jhkey


quality posts: 51 Private Messages jhkey

I'm posting this before reading all the notes above. I was able to try this wine last weekend.

45 mins in the decanter. The color is a dark reddish with just a hint of purple. This is NOT a big, fruit forward wine, it looks almost delicate in the glass. The nose is classic Cab Franc all the way. The fruit is restrained, and there’s a nice nose of that earthy funk and green vegetal goodness that screams Cab Franc. There’s also something spicy on the nose, maybe some black pepper as well as a hint of cedar which is nice and subtle in the background, no new oak on this. The nose is really nice, one of those wines where each time you put your nose in the glass you get something different and wonderful. On the palate, the wine is medium bodied and incredibly well balanced. The acidity shines through on the medium finish. Tannins are mild but still present. This wine would be very good with food. We’re having grass-fed strip tonight, I’ll let you know how that goes.

2 hours later – now the fruit is coming out wonderfully. Nice raspberry and cranberry as well as some minerality on the tongue. And wow, there is also a nice aroma of baking spices (kind of a cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice thing???). This wine is very good. If you like a reserved, varietally correct Cab Franc I highly recommend it. I’m excited to buy a bunch of this.

A great deal for the woot price would be in the $17 range and if so, I'll be buying.

EDIT: After reading Clark's comments above, I would be willing to substitute the scent "herbal" where I had used "vegetal"

"I double the doctor's recommendation of a glass and a half of wine a day and even treble it with a friend."
- Thomas Jefferson (CT)

trifecta


quality posts: 72 Private Messages trifecta

Clark - Is this the same vintage you had under the table at DnD? For some reason I thought that was an '05. Thanks.

winesmith


quality posts: 49 Private Messages winesmith
trifecta wrote:Clark - Is this the same vintage you had under the table at DnD? For some reason I thought that was an '05. Thanks.



No, this is the same wine. I started making DRV in 2007, and this is the follow-up vintage. You had to tattle on me about those under-the-table wines at Dark and Delicious. The other was the 2008 Aspects, which is a complex blend of three Cab Sauv clones plus CF, Merlot and a touch of Petite Sirah - a real symphony of red and blue fruit aromas.

Diamond Ridge Vineyards is home to the largest commercial-scale Cabernet Sauvignon clonal library in California. These wines are available at twojakesofdiamonds.com. We'll be mailing out a promotional code for those of you who buy in to this offer to shop those wines at a special discount as well.

winesmith


quality posts: 49 Private Messages winesmith
jhkey wrote:45 mins in the decanter. The color is a dark reddish with just a hint of purple. This is NOT a big, fruit forward wine, it looks almost delicate in the glass. The nose is classic Cab Franc all the way. The fruit is restrained, and there’s a nice nose of that earthy funk and green vegetal goodness that screams Cab Franc. There’s also something spicy on the nose, maybe some black pepper as well as a hint of cedar which is nice and subtle in the background, no new oak on this. The nose is really nice, one of those wines where each time you put your nose in the glass you get something different and wonderful. On the palate, the wine is medium bodied and incredibly well balanced. The acidity shines through on the medium finish. Tannins are mild but still present. This wine would be very good with food. We’re having grass-fed strip tonight, I’ll let you know how that goes.

2 hours later – now the fruit is coming out wonderfully. Nice raspberry and cranberry as well as some minerality on the tongue. And wow, there is also a nice aroma of baking spices (kind of a cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice thing???). This wine is very good. If you like a reserved, varietally correct Cab Franc I highly recommend it. I’m excited to buy a bunch of this.

A great deal for the woot price would be in the $17 range and if so, I'll be buying.

EDIT: After reading Clark's comments above, I would be willing to substitute the scent "herbal" where I had used "vegetal"



This is a perfect description of the wine -thanks very much. That "acidity that shines on the finish" is actually what I call minerality. Some people use this term to mean the aroma of stone, which this wine also has, but that's not what I'm talking about.

You can read my complete views on minerality in my Wines and Vines article at http://bit.ly/fyKG09.

Randall Grahm was the first to point this characteristic out to me. It's rare in California wines because we mostly lack the soil types where it occurs: limestone, schist and slate. But the decomposed granite in some of our high altitude vineyards imparts plenty of it.

Nobody knows what causes this sensation so similar to acidity, but positioned far back in the palate. In the article I propose an electrochemical explanation. In brief, it may be a flow of electrons from elements moving from their reduced to their oxidative forms, a sort of static discharge similar to licking a battery.

Although it adds a lively energy to the palate, minerality differs from acidity in that it appears not stimulate salivation. This is important to the silkiness you speak of. Excess acidity means more salivary protein, which reacts with the tannins and makes them coarser. This wine is silky in part because it's made at a relatively low titratable acidity (6.1 gm/L).

You can also get minerality on living soils by laying off of pesticides and herbicides, and the WineSmith 2003 Chardonnay we offered last month has plenty of it, too. I bring this up because it's a further illustration that minerality really prolongs a wine's life.

The other reason for the silkiness is early treatment with micro-oxygenation. This is the same way that harsh cocoa powder is made into silky chocolate, by refining the tannins. That chocolate waterfall in Willy Wonka really exists! As you can see, this treatment extends rather than shortens the wine's life. More about graceful longevity in http://bit.ly/XXxETV.

andreaserben


quality posts: 21 Private Messages andreaserben

I do not think it is fair to 'take issue' if tasters perceive something green pepperish.

It is their individual perception on that given day, in their given situation, and stands on its own.

In their case - they had a lot of Zins, I think. This could lead to subtle peppery notes to stand out more in contrast to the Zin?


This reminds me when a bunch of us tasted a (non-winesmith) Chardonnay the other day, and we all got some buttery notes which might have not been overwhelming, but definitely were there, and the winemaker insisted that it is not buttery but 'their famous adult apple juice'. None of us perceived any apple though.

free2day33611


quality posts: 2 Private Messages free2day33611

Easy buy with great input from the winery.

winesmith


quality posts: 49 Private Messages winesmith
andreaserben wrote:I do not think it is fair to 'take issue' if tasters perceive something green pepperish.

It is their individual perception on that given day, in their given situation, and stands on its own.

In their case - they had a lot of Zins, I think. This could lead to subtle peppery notes to stand out more in contrast to the Zin?


This reminds me when a bunch of us tasted a (non-winesmith) Chardonnay the other day, and we all got some buttery notes which might have not been overwhelming, but definitely were there, and the winemaker insisted that it is not buttery but 'their famous adult apple juice'. None of us perceived any apple though.



You are, of course, perfectly correct, and thanks for the back-atcha. I am touchier on this point than I probably ought to be for a couple reasons.

First of all, I know that woot does not offer CF with great frequency, and most folks haven't developed a very rich body of distinctions about it, so I'm trying to illustrate an important difference between these two characteristics.

Cabernet Franc is more sensitive to place of origin than perhaps any other variety (even Pinot Noir). But I always look for a trio of aromatic features: fruit, herb and spice. Be it basil, tarragon, rosemary or sage, this herbal note is an essential element of the expression of place.

Since most winegrowers treat CF just like Cab Sauv and Merlot (which need more pampering), it tends to get over-watered and grown in overly rich soils. It's incredibly vigorous, and will put out a huge leafy canopy which shades the fruit from direct sunlight, with the result of poor color, grainy texture (those go hand in hand) and the manufacture of pyrazines (bell pepper aromas) which are a bird repellent. This is because unilluminated berries have trouble maturing their seeds, and the vine tries to trick birds into staying away until the seeds are viable by keeping harsh tannin, low visibility, and the flavor of a leaf or stem.

The trick is to be a little mean to the variety by growing it on a limiting soil, so it puts its energy into the root system instead of the leafy canopy. We work hard at this, trying to keep the vine a little worried but never really stressed.

To sum up, herb is a mark of terroir expression, but bell pepper is a mark of poor understanding of this challenging grape. You are probably right that in a pack of Zinfandels, any Cab Franc will seem way more vegetal than it would by itself, or in a group of CF's. I hadn't considered that aspect, and I apologize for the chide. To paraphrase Walt Kelly, "we have met the jerkface, and he is us." Sigh.

All that said, I don't want to give the impression that I hate pyrazines. In my view, California winemakers go way to far overboard trying to eliminate any trace of vegetal character, particularly in Monterey, where wholesale planting of highly vigorous virus-free vines led to bigtime pyrazines in the 1970s (see http://wine.appellationamerica.com/best-of-appellation/Monterey-Wine-Diversity.html.

The result is that as a class, we are, I believe, overly "pyranoid." Our Sauvignon Blancs, for example, will never be taken seriously on the world stage without this herbal dimension that makes the SBs of Sancerre and Marlborough so exquisite.

bobrush12866


quality posts: 8 Private Messages bobrush12866

Clark: How many cases were produced of this vintage?

rjquillin


quality posts: 174 Private Messages rjquillin
klezman wrote:I think Ron took home the remnants of this one, so I'm curious to hear how it turned out!

Been slacking and working on the leftover Zin and kinda forgot this one; guilty.
It's now out of the chiller, before 0800 PDT, so I'll drink for the team and report more by noon.

Appearance is brilliantly clear, but pale to medium ruby in depth.
Still closed, but it's way too cold still..


CT

winesmith


quality posts: 49 Private Messages winesmith
bobrush12866 wrote:Clark: How many cases were produced of this vintage?



347 cases, of which about half remain.

winesmith


quality posts: 49 Private Messages winesmith
rjquillin wrote:Been slacking and working on the leftover Zin and kinda forgot this one; guilty.
It's now out of the chiller, before 0800 PDT, so I'll drink for the team and report more by noon.

Appearance is brilliantly clear, but pale to medium ruby in depth.
Still closed, but it's way too cold still..



I'm eager to hear how it developed. This stuff makes real good remnants - lots of staying power and responds well to coaxing. How long was it open?

klezman


quality posts: 123 Private Messages klezman

So Clark, not to beat the horse too much more, but I'm actually in that camp that enjoys a nice balanced dose of bell pepper in my CF. Maybe this is due to my wine self-education taking place mostly around the Niagara Peninsula in the early 2000's. At that point, at least, the best red varietals were Pinot, Syrah, and Cab Franc (imo). I always liked the Cab Francs that displayed a bit of green pepper, probably because it lent something interesting to the wines. All that is to ask - why are bell pepper aromas/flavours seen as evil in Cab Franc? Why are they generally considered unpleasant? Your explanations thus far of poor vine management are very interesting...

2014: 32 bottles. Last wine.woot: Scott Harvey Jana Cathedral 3 L
2013: 66 bottles, 2012: 91 bottles, 2011: 92 bottles, 2010: 74 bottles, 2009: 30 bottles, 2008: 3 bottles My CT

tanios


quality posts: 12 Private Messages tanios

What's the drinking window on this? Or to put it differently, how long could/should this be cellared before drinking?

klezman


quality posts: 123 Private Messages klezman
winesmith wrote:I'm eager to hear how it developed. This stuff makes real good remnants - lots of staying power and responds well to coaxing. How long was it open?



Ron is the man - he brought a tank of argon to the gathering and capped off all the bottles with it before recorking. Between opening and argon it was maybe 3 hours. Gathering was Saturday night.

2014: 32 bottles. Last wine.woot: Scott Harvey Jana Cathedral 3 L
2013: 66 bottles, 2012: 91 bottles, 2011: 92 bottles, 2010: 74 bottles, 2009: 30 bottles, 2008: 3 bottles My CT

winesmith


quality posts: 49 Private Messages winesmith
klezman wrote:So Clark, not to beat the horse too much more, but I'm actually in that camp that enjoys a nice balanced dose of bell pepper in my CF. Maybe this is due to my wine self-education taking place mostly around the Niagara Peninsula in the early 2000's. At that point, at least, the best red varietals were Pinot, Syrah, and Cab Franc (imo). I always liked the Cab Francs that displayed a bit of green pepper, probably because it lent something interesting to the wines. All that is to ask - why are bell pepper aromas/flavours seen as evil in Cab Franc? Why are they generally considered unpleasant? Your explanations thus far of poor vine management are very interesting...



I am entirely with you, and as you can tell from my reviews on appellationamerica.com, I'm a bigger fan of Finger Lakes Cab Franc than most of the people that make it there.

It's really a question of balance. Just like in SB, there must be a rich element of fruit present.

As I said, I'm not pyranoid. However, there is a consumer contingent that will walk away from any wine that's described this way, though its size is overestimated and it's refreshing to hear your balancing voice.

That said, I still think that excessive veg in CF is a mark of mismanagement. A well-integrated complexing note, however, is the passport to greatness.

winesmith


quality posts: 49 Private Messages winesmith
klezman wrote:Ron is the man - he brought a tank of argon to the gathering and capped off all the bottles with it before recorking. Between opening and argon it was maybe 3 hours. Gathering was Saturday night.



Very attentive. That's still long enough to get a saturation of oxygen, though, which (unlike many) should do this wine a world of good.

trifecta


quality posts: 72 Private Messages trifecta
winesmith wrote:You had to tattle on me about those under-the-table wines at Dark and Delicious. The other was the 2008 Aspects, which is a complex blend of three Cab Sauv clones plus CF, Merlot and a touch of Petite Sirah - a real symphony of red and blue fruit aromas.



I didn't tattle at DnD! Besides, under the table wines is a long standing tradition there. Despite having stained teeth from a PETs fest, we really enjoyed the cab franc and the Aspects. I am in for 2. I was also able to pick up a 2007 Aspects at auction, so I am excited to try that. Are both the 2007 and 2008 Aspects still available?

winesmith


quality posts: 49 Private Messages winesmith
trifecta wrote:I didn't tattle at DnD! Besides, under the table wines is a long standing tradition there. Despite having stained teeth from a PETs fest, we really enjoyed the cab franc and the Aspects. I am in for 2. I was also able to pick up a 2007 Aspects at auction, so I am excited to try that. Are both the 2007 and 2008 Aspects still available?



We only bottle about 100 cases of Aspects. All that remains of the 2007 Aspects is one case in the library. I can ask Jake if he is willing to part with a few bottles if you like. We're in decent shape on the 2008, about halfway through it. You'll get a discount code tucked into the box with your purchase.

mikefaulk


quality posts: 2 Private Messages mikefaulk

Hello Everyone!!! I am new to woot, but am excited to be a part of the community now. I have been turned onto woot by Mr. Clark Smith. If there is one thing I know about Clark is.. he makes incredible California Cab Franc. 99% of the Cab Francs I have had from California are either... Very astringent, vegital and a lot of green bell pepper on the nose,and lacking acidity and minerality... or The ones who make a good one (Pride for example) sell for around $50 or more a bottle retail.
What I love about this wine is that if you want to get a good sense of what "classic" cab franc tastes like without breaking the bank you should try it. Another thing I will say abut the DRV cab franc is that its "buzzing" minerality (as Clark likes to put it) definitely makes it an age-worthy wine. Sip on... my new friends :-)

winesmith wrote:Hi everybody! Clark Smith here from WIneSmith. I love the woot community, which has an appetite more than most for my somewhat outside-of-the-mainstream wines.

I'm featuring today, per your requests last time, a Cabernet Franc I make for Diamond Ridge Vineyards. Like many of my wines, it's made in a classic, well balanced Eurocentric style, and is surprisingly ageworthy. We had to give it 36 months in neutral oak and two more in the bottle to allow it to manifest a silky texture and intricate bouquet.



Winedavid39


quality posts: 201 Private Messages Winedavid39

Guest Blogger

mikefaulk wrote:Hello Everyone!!! I am new to woot, but am excited to be a part of the community now. I have been turned onto woot by Mr. Clark Smith. If there is one thing I know about Clark is.. he makes incredible California Cab Franc. 99% of the Cab Francs I have had from California are either... Very astringent, vegital and a lot of green bell pepper on the nose,and lacking acidity and minerality... or The ones who make a good one (Pride for example) sell for around $50 or more a bottle retail.
What I love about this wine is that if you want to get a good sense of what "classic" cab franc tastes like without breaking the bank you should try it. Another thing I will say abut the DRV cab franc is that its "buzzing" minerality (as Clark likes to put it) definitely makes it an age-worthy wine. Sip on... my new friends :-)



Thanks for chiming in Mike and welcome. are you with the winery?

bsevern


quality posts: 109 Private Messages bsevern

I tried a bottle of the 2004 WineSmith Napa Valley Faux Chablis a couple of weeks ago....

mikefaulk


quality posts: 2 Private Messages mikefaulk


tanios wrote:What's the drinking window on this? Or to put it differently, how long could/should this be cellared before drinking?


Definitely drinkable now, Decanting will help open it up. The minerality and acidity lead me to believe that one could cellar for at least 5-7 years, possibly more.

mikefaulk


quality posts: 2 Private Messages mikefaulk
Winedavid39 wrote:Thanks for chiming in Mike and welcome. are you with the winery?



I don't work directly for the winery, I work directly with Clark Smith (who is the winemaker for DRV, and I am an aspiring winemaker myself). I have been turned on to the wines through Clark. He is a wealth of knowledge and highly skilled at his craft. I am honored and privileged to work and learn from a well regarded figure in the industry.

trifecta


quality posts: 72 Private Messages trifecta
bsevern wrote:I tried a bottle of the 2004 WineSmith Napa Valley Faux Chablis a couple of weeks ago....



Me too. I tried the 2003 last night actually and liked it a lot more. To be fair, Clark stated in the original offering that the '04 wasn't ready yet. I prefer his approach to Chardonnay compared to most of the CA chards. The '03 last night was better than the 2010 Olivier Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc Les Sétilles that I had on Easter.

winesmith


quality posts: 49 Private Messages winesmith
trifecta wrote:Me too. I tried the 2003 last night actually and liked it a lot more. To be fair, Clark stated in the original offering that the '04 wasn't ready yet. I prefer his approach to Chardonnay compared to most of the CA chards. The '03 last night was better than the 2010 Olivier Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc Les Sétilles that I had on Easter.



Thanks. High praise indeed. I'm glad you could see my point about the 2004. It really will be an even better wine, as it's denser, but it will take another 2-4 years to get there. The 2003 presented itself the same way - steely, hard, austere - until about a year ago.

To a lesser extent, we are encountering the same phenomenon with this Cab Franc. It is not yet a particularly generous wine, and rather than punching your happy button, really asks you to dribble down to the other end of the court and shoot ITS basket. I think in a year or two, it will bloom more just as the '03 Chardonnay has, and then its charms will be more obvious.

Cabernet Franc generally is a more demanding wine, but it's capable of depths and intricacies of flavor one seldom sees in its muscular offspring, Cabernet Sauvignon.

bsevern


quality posts: 109 Private Messages bsevern
trifecta wrote:Me too. I tried the 2003 last night actually and liked it a lot more. To be fair, Clark stated in the original offering that the '04 wasn't ready yet. I prefer his approach to Chardonnay compared to most of the CA chards. The '03 last night was better than the 2010 Olivier Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc Les Sétilles that I had on Easter.



Overall I felt the 2004 was quite lackluster. Hard to imagine it getting more fruit with more time....but I will put the other bottle down for a few years and hope the 2003 is better.

Tempted to try the Cab Fran....but ....

midstarrynight


quality posts: 0 Private Messages midstarrynight
scooter78 wrote:In for 1 just because I feel like I owe it for the lesson I got on CF's from Mr. Smith.



Agreed!

bobrush12866


quality posts: 8 Private Messages bobrush12866

Diamond Ridge Cabernet Franc (3)

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In for one....Give it a shot in a few years.