2015 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
California: Napa Valley
In giving, we receive
We sell out of Franciscan nearly every time we feature them, so our apologies if this wine is no longer available. If it is, please click that Buy button… now!
We’re thrilled to have a very special wine for you, today, from the decade-busting 97 point 2015 Napa Vintage. 2015 was the best vintage on record in over a decade, handily beating the last few years by a wide margin. Today’s Franciscan Estate 2015 Napa Valley Cabernet is a great 2015 to stock up on, for less than $23!
This wine has a beautiful inky dark garnet hue with a royal purple tinge that is especially visible around the lip. This tasty Cab has a heady bouquet of dark fruits and toffee, with butterscotch and vanilla barrel aromas backed up by juicy blackberry and baking spice. Plum compote and dusty brambles are the flavors that pop up first on the palate, followed by cherry, boysenberry and dark cacao. This wine is extremely well balanced: acid, sugar, tannin, alcohol - everything perfectly in line with one another, creating a very smooth, approachable experience. High marks! This well-rounded wine would be welcome at any meal where red wine is served. Dress it up with filet mignon or dress it down with meatloaf - either way, you’re going to enjoy it.
The Oakville AVA, centrally located and adjacent to Napa Valley’s famous Rutherford AVA, was established in July 1993. Oakville is considered one of the most diverse AVA’s in the Napa area.
Just for fun, here’s a copy of our 2010 interview with Janet Myers, when we featured our very first Franciscan Estate Cabernet:
*WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER*
SUBJECT: Janet Myers
DATE OF BIRTH: 04/64
PLACE OF BIRTH: Centralia, Illinois
WINE EDUCATION: M.S. Enology and Viticulture, University of California, Davis
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Director of Winemaking, Franciscan Estate and Mount Veeder Winery. Previous experience with Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Beaulieu Vineyards, Louis M. Martini Winery, and Robert Mondavi Winery.
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: To make wines that are rich, balanced, supple, food-friendly, and show varietal character and place of origin.
SIGNATURE VARIETAL: Cabernet Sauvignon
CAREER HIGHLIGHT: The chance to make wine with great fruit from many vineyards.
WINEMAKER QUOTE: ”It’s all about what’s in the glass. As a winemaker, take the wine very seriously but don’t take yourself too seriously.”
AGENT RED: Greetings, Janet. We are thrilled to be showing your 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon today. Our tasting panel loved the wine. Congratulations on winning the “#1 Restaurant Wine” award! And, thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
WINEMAKER: Thank you, Agent Red! We’re happy to be on another covert mission with you today.
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
WINEMAKER: I was in London, living above a wine shop and getting to taste a lot of great wines, and also working in restaurants serving wine. This got me interested. But while traveling in Italy, where my mom’s parents are from, the vineyards and wineries fascinated me and I became focused on winemaking. The stars lined up, and I realized I could pursue a field that combined agriculture, food, flavors, science, and history.
RED: Where did you learn the most about winemaking?
WINEMAKER: The tools to understand what is going on in the wine were gained from UC Davis, a great foundation. But learning to make wine happens in the winery, you learn by doing, building on the practical knowledge that accumulates with each vintage. When I started out, I did back-to-back harvests in Italy and Australia. Such different approaches, but both made great wine; it was really an eye-opener.
RED: What is your winemaking style or philosophy?
WINEMAKER: To make balanced wines, with vibrancy and complexity, to stay true to the varietal character, and strive to bring the best out of the grapes. Tailor the approach to what the wine needs, use intuition, and don’t try to turn it into something it’s not.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
WINEMAKER: All wines interest me, the range of personality between varietals and styles. Napa Cabs and their depth and complexity are inspiring. Over my career, experiencing different winemakers with different approaches has grounded me.
RED: How long have you been making wine?
WINEMAKER: Just finished my 17th harvest.
RED: That’s impressive. Who do you make wine for?
WINEMAKER: For our consumers, ultimately. The winemaker has a vision of the wine he or she wants to make that will bring out the best potential of the fruit. That said, wine is made to be consumed, so you think about enhancing consumers’ experiences, complementing their meals. I strive to make wines that I love, that people will enjoy, and that respect the tradition and style of the winery.
RED: Tell me, what makes the Napa region so special?
WINEMAKER: A great combination of soil and climate. This is Cabernet spa treatment, with intense, warm summer days to build structure and richness, and cool nights to maintain vibrancy and deep color. No rain between May and October is a major bonus.
RED: What is one piece of advice that you would give to someone that is considering a career as a winemaker?
WINEMAKER: Work in a cellar to try it out. Keep an open mind, trust yourself. Be flexible and be prepared for anything!
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
WINEMAKER: We are currently busy blending the 2009 vintage and starting to walk the vineyards to watch bud break
RED: You’ll have to keep us covertly informed as to how those are progressing! Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today
WINEMAKER: With each vintage we make up to 200 separate lots of wine, and then hone the blend during the year-and-a-half of barrel aging, blind tasting trial blends repeatedly before selecting the final blend. The 2006 vintage has a rich bouquet of deep blackcurrant, dark cherry and blackberry. This is a concentrated and well-built wine, the mouthfeel is substantial with generous body enhanced by flavors of currants, cherry, cocoa.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
WINEMAKER: This wine pairs wonderfully with grilled New York strip steak with morel mushrooms and roasted red potatoes.
RED: Please share one thing about yourself that few people know.
WINEMAKER: I grew up around my parents’ and grandparents’ fruit orchard operation in Southern Illinois, apples and peaches, which gave me a love of the land and farming. It was a great way to grow up.
RED: What is your favorite ‘everyday’ or table wine?
WINEMAKER: There isn’t just one, it depends on what we’re eating. We do drink a lot of Sauvignon Blanc, then Chard for richer dishes, Rieslings for Indian and Asian. For a red, Cabernet is the go-to wine by far, but Pinot Noir is a wonderful counterpoint for a completely different experience.
RED: Sound like a good, balanced approach to playing favorites. Tell me, how would you recommend that people approach your wines, or wine in general?
WINEMAKER: Overall, the most important thing is to drink what you enjoy, and pair it with foods as you see fit. Trust your palate. Try new things, but don’t feel like you have to “move on” or “move up,” it’s ok to stick with your favorites. Don’t let anyone tell you what you should like.
RED: If you could choose any one wine to drink (regardless of price or availability), what would it be?
WINEMAKER: There are so many I enjoy, but probably I’d go with a Cabernet or Cab blend.
RED: What is the one question that I should have asked you, and what is your answer to that question?
WINEMAKER: Question: Could you talk about your vineyards and what they bring to the wine? Answer: The heart and soul of our red wines comes from our Oakville Estate Vineyard, 240 acres which we’ve been farming for 35 years (ever since Justin Meyer established it as our estate vineyard). Having that continuity helps ensure consistency across vintages. Years ago, Andre Tchelistcheff observed that it was a great place for Bordeaux varietals, and we’ve been doing that ever since. We also have 20 prime Chardonnay acres in Carneros, the Larsen Vineyard, which provides the backbone of our wild-yeast fermented Cuvee Sauvage. I love the firm acidity and vibrancy, which complements a reserve style Chard with the creaminess and richness of barrel fermentation.
RED: Andre is something of a hero of ours. And now, so are you! Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and about your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
WINEMAKER: Thanks, it was a pleasure. Enjoy the wine. Cheers!
Beautiful inky dark garnet hue with a royal purple tinge that is especially visible around the lip.
Dark fruits, toffee, butterscotch and vanilla barrel aromas, juicy blackberry and baking spice.
Plum compote, dusty brambles, cherry, boysenberry and dark cacao.
This wine is extremely well balanced: Acid, sugar, tannin, alcohol - everything perfectly in line with one another, creating a very smooth approachable experience. High marks!
Dress it up with filet mignon or dress it down with meatloaf - either way you’re going to enjoy it.
What the Winery Says
- Marla Carroll
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Napa Valley