Mounts Family Winery

2008 Dry Creek Valley Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc •Mounts Estate Vineyard

California: Sonoma County: Dry Creek Valley

Offer Expired:Jul 26, 2011 at 11:59 pm
Avg. Price

What We Say


Regular operatives know that we love the wines from Mounts Family Winery. Today, we bring you, for the first time, a fantastic Cabernet Franc from one of the finest growers and winemakers in Dry Creek Valley.


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Mission Codename: Speaking Franc

Operative: Agent White

Objective: Return to Mounts Family Vineyards and secure an allocation of their delicious Cabernet Franc.

Mission Status: Accomplished

Current Winery: Mounts Family Vineyards

Wine Subject: 2008 Dry Creek Valley Cabernet Franc

Winemaker: David Mounts


The Mounts family grows a variety of grapes on their hillside estate in Sonoma County’s beautiful Dry Creek Valley. The Dry Creek Valley across the Russian River from Alexander Valley has a generally cooler and wetter climate which makes the growing season longer and more flexible than neighboring appellations. This is an area best known for producing rather incredible Petite Sirah, Syrah, Zinfandel as in today’s wine Cabernet Franc.

Cabernet Franc is one of our operative’s favorite red varietals. Perhaps this is because its flavors are often rich, layered, complex and elegant. Or, perhaps we love 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.

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Beautifully dark purple with garnet with a dense but clear core. At the meniscus, the color lightens just slightly and when swirled this wine leaves evenly spaced color stained legs on the side of the glass.

Smell – A classic and aromatic Franc nose of ripe red fruit including cherry raspberry and plum that blends with savory notes, spicy pepper, cigar tobacco, present but not overpowering spiced and vanilla toasted oak and subtle floral qualities.

Feel – Very smooth and dry, this full-bodied wine was well developed and structured tannins, balanced acidity and textured minerals that frames this generous wine long into the finish.

Taste – A wide array of tart to ripe red cherry flavors ranging from wild ripe cherry fading to candied cherry and then cherry liquor along with other red fruit. Added complexity of spicy pepper, soft green herbal and savory notes, dark minerality that blend with the spiced and toasted vanilla oak found on the nose.

Finish – Extremely long with this expansive red fruit clinging to the palate while the other complex flavors fade until you’re left with only a hint of fruit framed by a well structured tannins and minerality that make the mouth water for another sip.

Conclusion – The 2008 Mounts Family Vineyards Dry Creek Valley Cabernet Franc is a fantastic wine that shows great varietal character and a very food friendly structure. Its luscious fruit that is framed by its tannins, minerality and acidity makes this idea for a wide range of foods. Enjoy this wine now after letting it open up or decanting or cellar for up to five years.

Mission Report:

Busy with bottling, David Mounts was unable to sit down with us for an interview for today’s wine. Be sure to tune in the next time we feature another fantastic Mount’s Family wine.

Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

The location of the Mounts Family Vineyard can be seen in this satellite photo.

What the Winery Says

About This Wine:

This was another stellar year for our Cabernet Franc. Our younger plantings have finally settled in and are producing a nice minuscule crop of small berried, very scraggly looking clusters, exactly what we want! We planted the long winded French clones 312 and 327 expecting them to produce less but giving us so much more as a wine. I was happy to get one fermenter out of the few hundred vines because I knew it was going to be amazing. I wanted a substantial extraction or release out of these tiny berries so I managed a lengthy cold soak maceration and allowed the fruit to breakup gently. The older vines on the other hand were a different animal altogether. They ripened much later and we allowed the berries to slightly dehydrate. We wanted tougher skins and ripe berries.

The older vines need more time to mature at a slow rate, sometimes it is a struggle! When the fruit arrived in the winery, I was thrilled with the wonderful floral bouquet that emanated from the bins, I feel confident that I preserved this intoxicating aroma and feel that it is beautifully displayed in the final wine. I co-fermented 10% Merlot, I felt the rich cherry and floral characteristics of the Merlot would help amplify the similar qualities found in our Cabernet Franc.

The Cabernet Franc aged for almost two years in 70% new French oak barrels. We’ve settled in to producing about 130 cases for now. We have planted another acre and we all are excited about the 2010 vintage so that we can offer you more production… long gone are the days of only 65 cases (2006). We’ve loved our Cabernet Franc since its debut in 2005 and this vintage doesn’t disappoint, enjoy!

About The Winery:

Quality through sacrifice is our priority at Mounts Vineyards. With this philosophy of excellence passing through three generations of wine-grape growers, it is our aspiration to extend it to our new family winery. We are excited to announce the arrival of Mounts Family Winery, opening in the Spring of 2007.

Mounts Vineyards has been growing premium wine grapes for over 50 years in the Dry Creek Valley. Every block design brings together the unique orientation of hillside exposure, soil type, and depth. With each of these factors we determine our variety, the appropriate clone, and the most favorable root-stock. The careful planning and consideration that goes into developing our vineyards allows the vine to grow to its full potential for vine health and balanced canopy growth. From them, we achieve the greatest possible expression of fruit character, balance, and structure in all of our wines.

Our hope is that you will appreciate the wines we have nurtured from our estate vineyards. We anticipate you will take pleasure in every sip, share them with your friends and family, and savor memories that our wines help create.

Technical Analysis:

Appellation: Dry Creek Valley, Mounts Estate Vineyards

Vineyard: Cane pruned ‘Guyot’ planted 2001, clone 4 × 1103P, .5ac. Cordon trained, spur-pruned planted in 2005, clone entav 327 × 101-14, 1 acre.

Harvest Date: October 5th and 23rd, 2008

Average Brix: 26.5

Alcohol: 15.2%

Cases Produced: 130

Release Date: April 2011

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