Sodaro Estate Winery
2009 Limited Edition Napa Valley Felicity Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Franc •Sodaro Estate
California: Coombsville (Napa)
The Gold Standard
When Agent Red tasted today’s Sodaro Estate Winery 2009 Limited Edition Napa Valley Felicity Cabernet Franc, he had to secure some for our Operatives. When he learned that the limited-production wine had not been released, he just had to have it all.
We are thrilled (and very proud) to be the only source in the world for today’s complex, rich, dark and very delicious Cabernet Franc. The wine is a treat right out of the bottle, but it is after some hearty swirling that it really springs to life. We recommend this sort of vigorous treatment, or an hour of decanting, to get the most out of this fantastic wine.
Cabernet Franc is the most food friendly red wine varietal of all, and we believe that this wine would be a treat with everything from lightly seasoned chicken or pork dishes to more robust beef dishes like a pepper rubbed t-bone or a nice fatty prime rib with plenty of horseradish.
Enjoy now, but be sure to cellar a few bottles. This wine will get better and better over the next 7 to 10 years.
Nearly perfectly diffuse garnet from core to edge, with just a subtle lightening at the rim.
A classic Cabernet Franc on the nose, with smoky blackberry and plum overlapping green olive, fresh bell pepper, sweet tobacco leaf, and a touch of sweet floral notes.
Bright and complex, with luxurious balance. Reduced fruit of black cherry, plum, and blackcurrant mingle with saddle leather, fresh spring garden, tobacco, espresso bean, black pepper, sage, rosemary, and hint of lavender.
Long and lasting, with a bright acidity and a bit of smokiness on the very end of the palate.
Moroccan-style braised beef with carrots and couscous.
What the Winery Says
The 2009 growing season was mild-mannered in comparison to past recent years with little to no frost. Rainfall was wall timed yet lighter than normal. Bloom and fruit set occurred in a relatively condensed time period which contributed to even ripeness and ample supply. Harvest was late and generous, yielding superb quality fruit in ideal conditions.
A parent of Cabernet Sauvignon, a stand-alone Cabernet Franc is a rare find. Dark plum in appearance with pronounced aromas of raspberries and spice. This wine has a pleasant intensity of dark berry flavors which are complimented by nuanced hints of vanilla and oak. A lingering spice accents a smooth, thoughtful finish.
- Bill and Dawnine Dyer
- 92 Points - Wine Enthusiast
- Coombsville, Napa Valley, California
- 22 months in French oak
About the Winery
Evolution—the exact word that describes our efforts at Sodaro Estate Winery and that of 13,000 of the finest vines planted in one of the best wine growing soils and climates in the world. As you can see by the dictionary definition, evolution is a gradual process. This is particularly true in wine making; a process that takes years.
Winemakers Bill and Dawnine Dyer
Bill and Dawnine’s unique perspective and knowledge of wine derives from decades of winemaking, both in the prestigious Napa Valley and around the world. Together they represent more than 80 years of experience in the wine industry. Between the two, they hold degrees in Philosophy, Biology, and Enology.
Dawnine and Bill were instrumental in the construction of Sodaro Estate Winery and have been the winemakers since its inception.
Bill Dyer was born in Berkeley, CA and holds a degree in Philosophy from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a Master’s degree in Enology from University of California at Davis. He spent 20 years, from 1976 to 1996, with Sterling Vineyards, starting as Cellarmaster and became Winemaker in 1985. Recognizing the importance of the vineyards, he was responsible for developing their single-vineyard wines, including a Cabernet from Diamond Mountain that garnered a great deal of attention and praise in the early 1980s.
Since 1996, Bill has brought his considerable talents to consulting. Miramar Torres Estate in the Russian River Valley, Sodaro Winery, Spring Mountain Winery and Frogs’ Leap Winery in Napa Valley, as well as Church & State Winery and Burrowing Owl Vineyards in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley all have benefited from his insight and experience.
Recently he has worked with the Marimar Estate in Sonoma’s Russian River Valley, where he helped select and develop a Pinot Noir vineyard in Freestone.
Bill has served on the Board of Directors of Napa Valley Wine Technical Group, which provides an open forum for Napa Valley winemakers to share technical information. He has also been a board member of the Napa Valley Wine Library, an organization formed by James Beard and MFK Fisher in 1963.
Dawnine Dyer spent her early years as winemaker at Domaine Chandon. A staunch Californian, and always a fan of the bubbly, her tenure at Chandon was marked by the introduction of many original sparkling wines and wine styles, taking the best of both a rich tradition and a promising appellation. Charged with monitoring quality control, she was paired with a French winemaking team from Domaine Chandon’s parent company, Moet & Chandon, which included veteran enologist and winemaker, Edmond Maudiere, who became her mentor.
Over the course of her 25-year tenure at Domaine Chandon, Dawnine rose up through the ranks at Domaine Chandon, ultimately becoming vice president and principal winemaker.
Dawnine has served as President of the Napa Valley Vintners Association, president of Napa Valley Wine Technical Group and was a member of the founding board of Women for WineSense, a national 12-chapter association founded in 1990. Through her work with the NVV, she has become a recognized voice for the importance of Geographic Indications and Appellations of Origin to the Napa Valley and has been invited to speak on the issue in Geneva, Switzerland, Beijing, China, Lima, Peru, and Bordeaux, France.
She lectures for the annual Wine Industry Executive program at the University of California at Davis Graduate School of Business and also sits on the board of directors for Frog’s Leap Winery.
Coombsville is one of the most temperate of the Napa Valley appellations. Grapes mature slowly and ripen evenly during the long growing season. The resulting flavors are bright with brilliant acids, soft but significant tannins, excellent structure and mouthfeel, and a foundation of earth and mineral flavors.
The vineyards consist of roughly 9.5 acres and are planted with slightly more than 13,000 vines of the Bordeaux varietals; Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Each of the five varietals have different requirements and are fussy about where they will thrive, but it was essential in Sodaro’s plans that these classic varieties be represented in the flavor palette available to the winemaker.
The vineyard also has several microclimates. Low lying areas will be several degrees cooler than the tops of the hills. The soil on the hillsides is different than on the flat land having eroded, over the eons, to the flatter areas. The topography is varied with north, south and west facing hillsides as well as several acres of flat land each of which present different exposures.
Sustainable Farming Practices
The viticultural philosophy is that of sustainable framing practices that emphasize soil health over chemicals.
The Coombsville Appellation soil is very acidic and low in organic materials. Before the vineyard was planted, soil tests revealed where and what amendments would be necessary. Ongoing applications of compost, beneficial microbes and a cover-crop regimen are designed to improve the quality of the soil and keep it healthy and productive in the long term.