2009 MacAllister Vineyard Cabernet Franc
California: Sonoma Valley
Keeping it real
Earlier this year, we introduced our Operatives to Eponymous Wines by Napa winemaking legend Robert Pepi. Robert’s family has been making and growing wine in the Napa Valley for decades. Their Robert Pepi Winery in the Napa Valley was an early pioneer in Napa and today Robert carries on the traditions of his family under his own Eponymous wine label.
We absolutely love great Cabernet Franc and we pride ourselves at having elevated the profile of this sometimes overlooked wine varietal. In fact, we’ve developed a substantial following for Franc among our very own Operatives - who are always on the lookout for any Franc that we feature.
Today’s Eponymous 2009 Cabernet Franc is a soft, balanced and flavorful wine that delivers an elegant tasting experience - without sacrificing structure or delicious fruit. The great fruit and fine mouth feel lend the wine to a wide variety of food pairings.
This fantastic Franc stays true to the best characteristics of the varietal, delivering the very best in flavor and elegance from the bursting start to the silky finish.
Vividly dark ruby, from its core to the edge.
Soft notes of dark fruit, with plum black currant and smoky black cherry flowing into hints of dried fall leaves and sweet vanilla spice.
Wonderfully silky and refined, this wine leads with very bright notes of young cherry, blackberry, boysenberry, and slight notes of sweet spice.
Silky with a decidingly elegant finish, this wine is very well structured with fantastic bright fruity notes.
Enjoy this food friendly wine with a wide variety of pairings. We would recommend this with Provencal herb rubbed roast chicken.
What the Winery Says
Year in year out the hallmark of the wine that the grapes from this vineyard allow us to make is the beautifully expressive aromas and elegant, balanced mouthfeel. All three varieties are exceptional but the Cabernet Franc is the best with which I have worked. It has always elevated the aromatics of my Bordeaux Blend. In 2009 I decided to make less of the Bordeaux Blend which left excess Cabernet Franc. For this reason I was able to produce this first vintage of Cabernet Franc. The complexity and intensity of the aromas are evident from the moment the cork is popped. Aromas hinting of blueberries, spice, violets, and orange blossom add to the enjoyment. This wine has a very nicely balanced mouthfeel, from entry to finish, medium body with a tannin structure that is restrained but sufficient to allow for at least 5-7 years of graceful aging.
The grapes come from a single vineyard, MacAllister Vineyard, near the ridge of the Mayacamas Range on the Sonoma side of Mt. Veeder. This is a spectacular sloping site with multiple exposures and well drained, low fertility soils.
- Robert L. Pepi
- Sonoma Valley, California
- MacAllister Vineyard
- Grape Variety
- 91% Cabernet Franc, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon
About the Winery
In 1966, my family bought a ranch with vineyards in the Napa Valley, thinking it a retreat from the city. In 1980, my retired father and I decided to start a winery on the property, giving it the name we each carried, Robert Pepi. Our first harvest was in 1981, and I’ve been making wine ever since. After the winery sold, I became a consulting winemaker, working mainly in California, but traveling also to Argentina, Colorado, and Texas.
Consulting has given me success, freedom, and the ability to work with exceptional vineyards and craft wines of which I am very proud. From time to time while traveling the back roads of California and Argentina, tending to my clients’ vineyards, I see vineyards that do not fit into my clients’ needs, but that excite me with their potential for quality wines. These vineyards were the impetus for starting my own label.
Eponymous began in 2000 with an opportunity to work with grapes that I felt would produce some of the best Cabernet in Napa Valley. Three vintages later another opportunity presented itself, through a friend and passionate vineyard manager, Javier Renteria who was managing, and still is, MacAllister Vineyard just off the Mt. Veeder ridge. Planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, the vineyard’s differing soils and exposures gave me the chance to produce an elegant Bordeaux-style blend from Sonoma County.
In 2008 I found a Syrah vineyard with which I wanted to work, and in 2009 I made Cabernet Franc from the MacAllister Vineyard and a Cabernet Sauvignon from Spring Mountain in Napa Valley. I am sure that the story will not end there, as the chance to work with a great vineyard is not one that I can easily pass up.
Winemaker Robert L. Pepi
Robert has built his reputation making Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese for his family’s vineyard. He focuses on vineyard quality and innovation, some examples being; the development of a new trellising system to improve quality and the reintroduction of the Sangiovese grape to California.
Since 1995 he has worked as a consultant with vineyards in Argentina, Chile, Colorado, Texas and most of the best grape growing areas in California. This gives him a broader background as a grape grower and winemaker as well as expanding his opportunities to find some great vineyards from which he makes small quantities of his own wine, Eponymous.