2006 Cabernet Franc Caitlin's Select
California: Napa Valley
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Mission Codename: Red Rocks
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: After a protracted investigation of Kenefick Ranch, and a long absence of Cabernet Franc from our pages, direct Agent Red to infiltrate the winery – in order to procure an ample allocation of their prized, single vineyard, 2006 Caitlin’s Vineyard Cabernet Franc, Napa Valley.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Kenefick Ranch
Wine Subject: 2006 Caitlin’s Select Cabernet Franc, Napa Valley
Winemaker: Kent Jarman
Backgrounder: Cabernet Franc is one of Agent Red’s favorite red varietals. Perhaps this is because its flavors are often rich, layered, complex and elegant. Or, perhaps he loves Cabernet Franc so much because it pairs so exceptionally with many different foods. One of the most notable things about Cabernet Franc is the fact that finding excellent examples can be very difficult. Read Red’s tasting notes and winemaker interview below, for the full intel on today’s superb wine.
Kenefick Ranch grows grapes for some of the finest ultra-premium wine houses, including Robert Mondavi, Rosenblum, Plumpjack, and Joseph Phelps. Wines made from Kenefick grapes consistently score in the mid to high 90’s. Kenefick only holds back 10% of its grapes for its own use. A taste of today’s fantastic Cabernet Franc may tell you which 10% they use in their own wines.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Darkest ruby red with a darker, slightly opaque core. At the edge of the glass, a lovely ring of bright ruby encircles the glass. After a hearty swirl, the wine settles quickly, leaving behind skinny legs that run very slowly down the glass.
Smell – Lush blackberry, black cherry, dark raspberry and dark chocolate are detected even before lifting glass to nose. On inhaling the wine, dark notes of plum, dark leather, tobacco and cigar box mix with dark violets, sweet spice and toasty oak.
Feel – Initially cool and soft on entry, the wine becomes quickly grippy at the mid-palate, spreading a crushed-velvet dryness to the far corners of the mouth. This dryness combines with spice and bright acids to sustain flavors for a long time.
Taste – Rich, dark and packed with flavor, this wine leads with dark cherry, ripe blackberry, rich blueberry and dusty cocoa. As the wine breathes, it opens to reveal additional flavors of dried black flower petals, leather, tobacco, spice and toasty oak.
Finish – Very long and very dark, with black fruits slowly yielding, spice, leather, tobacco and sweet oak.
Conclusion – Highly recommended, this is the finest Franc I have laid my lips on in some time! This lovely 2006 Kenefick Ranch Caitlin’s Select Cabernet Franc, Napa Valley is a truly delicious wine. With big, dark flavors and heady aromatics, this Cab Franc delivers that best that this noble varietal has to offer. This wine is balanced, elegant and packed with intrigue – without any of the green character that can sometimes show up in this wondrous varietal. Very food-friendly, pair this wine as you would a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Zinfandel. Grilled steaks or a delicious pork roast would be an outstanding companion to this fantastic wine.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Kenefick Ranch Vineyard (not open to the public), where today’s wine was born, can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the winery says
About This Wine:
Baker’s chocolate, cassis, dry currants and dark cherry complete the aromatics. Intense fruit of ripe cherries, rhubarb and spicy notes fill out the palate. Full, well-rounded, soft tannins integrate with the fruit and oak nuances to make this a balanced offering.
About The Winery:
Kenefick Ranch Vineyards is owned by retired San Francisco neurosurgeon Dr. Thomas P. Kenefick, and his two children Caitlin and Chris Kenefick. A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, he is a product of the University of Minnesota Medical School and the Mayo Clinic who, in 1969, ventured west and joined San Francisco Neurosurgical Medical Group. Shortly thereafter Dr. Kenefick fell in love with the Napa wine country and its products and began cultivating his new passion for wine growing and wine making.
In 1978 Dr. Kenefick acquired 125-acre vineyard property at the foothills of the Palisades Mountains in Calistoga. This vineyard was head pruned, dry farmed, old Italian varietals and over the next 20 years these were replaced with Bordeaux varietals on vertical shoot positioning and drip irrigating for higher quality grapes. Over the years, he has been selling to a number of world class wineries in Napa Valley such as Shafer, Joseph Phelps, and Pride Mountain Vineyards, among others.
Composition: 100% Estate Grown – Calistoga, CA
85% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot
Average Brix: 28.2
Average Tonnage/Acre: 3.1
Alcohol: 15.2% pH: 3.78 TA: 6.2 g/l
Wood: 70% New french Oak; 30% Neutral French Oak;
Barrel Aged: 20 Months Bottle Aged: 2 Years
Cases Produced: 747