2006 Napa Valley Cabernet Franc
California: Napa Valley
What We Say
Today’s selection at 50% off its regular price is a superb deal on a great wine from our good friends at Bourassa Vineyards.
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Mission Codename: Francly the best
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Secure a limited allocation of the Reserve Petite Sirah from our friends at Bourassa Vineyards.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Bourassa Vineyards
Wine Subject: 2006 Cabernet Franc Napa Valley
Winemaker: Gary Galleron
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. Agent Red recently scoured the Napa Valley to bring you today’s exceptional selection from our old friends at Bourassa Vineyards. Red Red’s tasting notes and mission report below
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep red-purple, this wine has a richly viscous look to it. When swirled, the surface of the wine appears heavy. When it settles, one round of heavy legs falls immediately down the glass. A few moments later, a second set starts high up on the glass. This wine-stained set of tears have a medium width, and they move very slowly down the glass.
Smell – Rich and dark, meaty and robust, with lush aromas of dark berry, earthen mushroom, dark plum, and soft vanilla.
Feel – Cool and light on entry, then quickly grippy, with a dryness that spreads from the edges of the palate inward.
Taste – In contrast to the look and dark aromatics of this wine, it presents initial flavors that are surprisingly bright and tart. Leading the way are young strawberry, cassis, cranberry and cherry. These are followed by darker flavors of plum and toasty oak.
Finish – Long and lingering, with bright fruits that tail off gently, eventually leading to a softly mineral feel and flavors of dark plum and soft oak.
Conclusion – The look of this wine belies its bright and shiny in-the-mouth character. Where the wine looks and even smells deeply foreboding, on the palate it is bright and softly tart with a high acidity that makes it a great food companion. With loads of red fruit and leading the way, this wine is a delicious and well-balanced treat. For those who shy away from Franc’s sometimes vegetal character, don’t fret. You won’t find any green in this wine. We enjoyed our sample bottles with roasted asparagus with fresh thyme, and sesame crusted seared Ahi steaks. This was a great pairing with this very tasty and very flexible wine.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Efrain Baragan, Assistant Winemaker
WINE EDUCATION: School of hard knocks! I’m a renegade winemaker! I learned my trade form doing hands on work and learning from veteran winemakers in the valley!
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Keep it simple, keep it clean, and don’t overdo it!
WINEMAKER QUOTE: “The art of winemaking is to blend the best lots to make amazing wine”
FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: 2001
AGENT RED: Greetings, Efrain Barragan. We are thrilled to be showing your 2006 Cabernet Franc today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
EFRAIN: Thanks, Red. It’s great to be working with The Wine Spies, again!
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
EFRAIN: Wine runs through my veins! I remember when I was a boy, my father would take me out to the vineyard to teach me what he knew about growing grapes.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
EFRAIN: Our consulting winemaker, Gary Galleron was a really influential person in my winemaking career. Gary Galleron worked alongside Mike Girgich back in 1976 at Chateau Montelena. He has worked for wineries like Vineyard 29, Whitehall Lane, Grace Family, Hartwell Vineyards. Think Bottle Shock the Movie ~ he helped make the Chardonnay!
RED: Who do you make wine for?
EFRAIN: I enjoy making wine that people want to drink! I like to make Old Napa style wines. Good wine, with good fruit, and good balance.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
EFRAIN: The 2006 Cabernet Franc is a very unique wine. It’s not your typical herbaceous, vegetal wine. This wine is very fruit driven and it has an amazing flavor profile. The wine is very elegant yet very complex. The wine aged in 50% new French oak and 50% 2nd use oak.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
EFRAIN: I would pair this wine with some Duck or even Lamb.
RED: In your opinion, what makes the Napa Valley so special?
EFRAIN: The fruit source for this Cabernet Franc is in Calistoga. Calistoga tends to be a bit warmer than the rest of the valley. The advantage to that is that the fruit ripens very quickly hence eliminating the herbaceous and vegetal character. Generally Cabernet Franc is a little too earthy, but the fruit coming out of Calistoga is amazing. Cab Franc in Calistoga tends to be more intense in fruit flavor.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
EFRAIN: Sorting barrels, bottling, and planning for the next harvest.
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
EFRAIN: This particular wine is drinkable now but could age gracefully for the next 7 years. I would say enjoy it now and “Celebrate Life”
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
EFRAIN: Enjoy the wine and I hope you will come and visit us at Bourassa Vineyards.
RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Bourassa Vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
Deep purple in color. Intense blueberry & cherry jumps out at you. Hints of French vanilla oak. Plum, cherry, young and fruity on the palate with a tight, lingering finish. Flavors of cassis and ripe plum. This wine is excellent with food and will age gracefully.
Vineyard Block 42, this Cabernet Franc is from the valley floor near Oak Knoll and Big Ranch Road, Oak Knoll District, harvested in late September 2006. Fermented in open bin half-ton fermenters, hand punched down daily. Free run juice separated from press must for the highest quality.
Bourassa Vineyards, the Essence of Paradise
Welcome to Bourassa Vineyards, one of Napa Valley’s most distinguished wineries. Bourassa Vineyards skillfully produces rich, complex blends and world class varietals from only the finest, self-maintained vineyards in Napa Valley. Born from a family tradition of winemaking with a passion for quality, our wines are hand-crafted in small lots to ensure unsurpassed excellence in every bottle. Our award-winning vintages display varietally correct balance paired with handcrafted passion.
The Bourassa tradition of winemaking started in 1899 in Naples, Italy with Victor Nozzolillo, Victor Bourassa’s grandfather. In 1910, he came to American by himself, greeted only by an older brother who also left Italy at a very young age. Nozzolillo fought in and survived WWI before settling down to raise a family.
On Shrewsbury Street in Worcester, MA in the early 1900’s, street-style farmers’ markets were the order of the day. Grapes from other states were on display on wooden boxes, ripe for home winemaking (most of which was done in the basement during Prohibition.) It was Victor Bourassa’s grandfather who provided him an inheritance of tradition as a winemaker. He instilled in Bourassa an eagerness to learn the ancient craft of winemaking.
On the other side of town, Bourassa’s other grandfather Joseph Bourassa, tended his entrepreneurial spirit by building a neighborhood grocery store from the ground up. He too planted a seed within Vic Bourassa to honor and build on tradition.
Many of Victor Bourassa’s memories provide confidence in seeking the knowledge in winemaking and entrepreneurship for his wine business today. Bourassa Vineyards is built on this strong family tradition in Napa Valley. Bourassa recognized the importance of these people who have touched his life. They have taught him to work hard, have integrity and always be optimistic in life. Thus the result is the fruition of Vic Bourassa’s lifelong dream to produce and sell wines that would make his grandfathers proud.
Appellation: Napa Valley
Sub-Appellation: Oak Knoll District
Bottling Date: September 19, 2009
Release Date: April 02, 2010
Varietal: 75% Cabernet Franc, 25% Petit Sirah