2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Franc
California: Napa Valley
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Mission Codename: The Halo Effect
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Return to Wine Spies favorite, St. Supery, secure the latest vintage of their exceptional Cabernet Franc for our deserving operatives
Mission Status: Accomplished
Current Winery: St. Supery Vineyards and Winery
Wine Subject: 2007 Cabernet Franc Napa Valley
Winemaker: Michael Scholz
Winery Backgrounder: We love St. Supery Winery, and while we would love to show their wines more frequently, we are made happy by the fact that the wines they do share with our Operatives are universally fantastic. Today, Agent Red returns to St. Supery and returns with their Winery Exclusive Cabernet Franc. To Red, this is a double score, as his love for the winery is matched only by his love for this delicious varietal.
Varietal 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. This explains why we have not shown a Cab Franc here in some time. Agent Red recently scoured the Napa Valley to bring you today’s exceptional selection from our old friends at St. Supery. Red Red’s tasting notes and mission report below
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark garnet with a clear, darker core. Out at the edge of the glass, a wide band of pure ruby encircles the wine. The wine leaves behind chubby legs, when swirled.
Smell – Bold blackberry and plum and smoky blueberry leap from the glass. These are underpinned by berry bramble bush, dried violets, dark chocolate, soft spice and toasty oak.
Feel – Initially cool and soft on entry. The, the wine becomes quickly grippy, spreading a crushed-velvet dryness all around the mouth. This dryness seems to lock in darker fruit flavors for a long time.
Taste – Rich and dark, with smoky plum, overripe blackberry, crushed dried violet petals, dusty bramble, dried fall leaves, black salted licorice, spice and softly toasted oak.
Finish – Very long and very dark, with black fruits gradually yielding to the more earthy flavors in the wine.
Conclusion – This 2007 St. Supery Cabernet Franc is a delicious departure from the previous vintage of the wine. Where the 2006 was more fruit-driven, with sweet red fruits, this 2007 is darker and more foreboding. Plush on the palate and expressive on the nose, the dark flavors bring a delicious overall balance to this elegant wine. Pair with a pork roast, a tri-tip roast or a bold pasta dish with a spicy meat sauce.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Michael Scholz, Vice President Winemaker
WINE EDUCATION: BS in Enology at Roseworthy College, Adelaide, Australia
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Ironhorse then St. Supery 1996-2001, Wattle Creek, returned to St. Supery in 2009
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Make expressive wines, distinctive, fragrant, vibrant and delicious
WINEMAKER QUOTE: “No drama”
AGENT RED: Greetings, Michael. We are thrilled to be showing your 2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Franc today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
MICHAEL: It is always such a pleasure to see St. Supery featured on Wine Spies!
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
MICHAEL: I grew up on a family vineyard estate in the Barossa Valley in Australia, near Adelaide. The estate has been in my family for 5 generations, so I had the good fortune of growing up among the vineyards and wine on the table daily, of course.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
MICHAEL: My big brother, Peter, but don’t tell him that and give him a big head.
RED: Who do you make wine for?
MICHAEL: People who love wine, food and good times.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
MICHAEL: This wine comes from our estate vineyards, one in Rutherford, which yield elegant wines with structure and charm, and the other is Dollarhide, a mountain vineyard that yield intense and bold wines. Cabernet Franc is usually an elegant and charming wine on its own, adding fruit lift and floral components to a Bordeaux style wine. With the addition of Dollarhide fruit, ours carries some intensity of fruit, yet the approach is generous and graceful. I really like this wine, myself.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
MICHAEL: I like this wine with a grilled lamb or roasted quail. It’s almost lunchtime, so I can imagine it being good with all kinds of foods, but anything grilled or roasted or cooked on a rotisserie would most likely be a winner.
RED: In your opinion, what makes the Napa Valley so special?
MICHAEL: The Napa Valley is a fantastic place to grow grapes and make wine. The climate is ideal for fine wines and the diversity in soils and aspects and elevations contribute to the ability to create really complex yet approachable, delicious wines.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
MICHAEL: Blending wines, preparing for bottling, watching the vineyards as always.
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
MICHAEL: With an open mind and some friends along, if you can!
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
MICHAEL: We are remodeling our tasting rooms here at St. Supery. It’s a major overhaul. Everyone should come visit us in April to experience the new place and all of our new releases. Very exciting around here!
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 the St. Supery Vineyards and Winery can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the winery says
About This Wine:
This wine is a wonderful expression of a unique varietal. Our Cabernet Franc is intense and elegant with medium tannins. On the palate, the wine is full of ripe fruit flavors and spice.
This wine comes from our estate vineyards, one in Rutherford, which yield elegant wines with structure and charm, and the other is Dollarhide, a mountain vineyard that yield intense and bold wines. Cabernet Franc is usually an elegant and charming wine on its own, adding fruit lift and floral components to a Bordeaux style wine. With the addition of Dollarhide fruit, ours carries some intensity of fruit, yet the approach is generous and graceful.
About The Winery:
Two vineyards – one in Rutherford at the heart of Napa Valley’s Cabernet Sauvignon country, the other in a serene corner of the Napa Valley – gave rise to the divine wines of St. Supéry, most notably, award-winning Cabernet Sauvignons and Sauvignon Blanc.
Every day, wine aficionados from around the world visit our winery estate in Rutherford, one of Napa Valley’s best-known appellations. A tour of our winemaking facility gives visitors a look at the state of modern winemaking, while a visit to the historic landmark 1880 Victorian Atkinson House (now a living museum) gives them a sense of the Valley’s past. Yet perhaps the biggest attraction is the uniquely informative and engaging St. Supéry Winery and Gallery
About The Vineyards:
St. Supéry first invested in vineyards in 1982 with the acquisition of Dollarhide, a 1,500-acre property in northeast Napa Valley. The winery has continued to invest in vineyards since that time, knowing that only through close management of the grapes in the vineyards can we ensure the highest quality wines in the bottle. In total, St. Supéry has over 500 planted acres in Napa Valley. It is in these vineyards, with very diverse terrains, that St. Supéry wines get their start.
Dollarhide – Dollarhide is St. Supéry’s largest vineyard estate with over 1,500 acres of rolling hills, oak-covered knolls and seven lakes in a private mountain valley in northeast Napa Valley. About one third of the acreage is planted to winegrapes.
Rutherford Estate – St. Supéry’s estate vineyard surrounding the winery in the celebrated wine growing region of Rutherford in the Napa Valley on Hwy 29 is also the winery site. Thirty-five acres are planted with red Bordeaux varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. The climate and soils of Rutherford are ideal for these grape varieties, which often are blended with Dollarhide fruit to create St. Supéry’s refined and elegant Élu and Virtú wines.
Appellation: Napa Valley