Howell Mountain is also the home for Beringer’s single vineyard Cabernet Franc, long a favorite in the Rhine House tasting room by staff and customers of many years. The Cabernet Franc comes from Bancroft Ranch, and demonstrates the intensity and concentration of flavors resulting from Bancroft’s restrictive soils and unique microclimates.
A deep ruby red color graces the glass, with aromas and flavors of red mountain raspberries, black currants and black cherry. Evident oak spice with a touch of mocha leads to a plush, lingering wine with soft, medium-weight tannins. Rich, with layers of complex flavors, a bold statement that will evolve and continue to reveal nuances for years to come.
The 2014 vintage offered an ideal growing season. Although California's drought brought another dry winter the growing season started with a warm, dry spring and relatively early bud break. Summer was mild and consistent with even, warm temperatures. Throughout the Napa Valley the season was even and tempered with no heat spikes or early rain. Warm days with plenty of sunshine and cool evenings allowed for excellent ripening, phenolic and flavor development in the grapes. Overall, vintage 2014 wines are of very high quality.
Rising to 1,800 feet on Howell Mountain, rolling hills of compacted volcanic ash create multiple aspects, drainage and depths of soil that infuse layers of complexity to this wine. This beautiful, mountainous vineyard covers 89 acres of nutrient-poor, rocky soils, and produces the intense Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc that we use in our Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.
After gentle crushing and destemming, juice and skins were sent to small fermenters for an extended cold soak maceration to allow rich color, complex flavors and silky, mid-weight tannins to be slowly developed and extracted. The Cabernet Franc is aged in 91% new French oak barrels with medium toast for 20 months prior to bottling, when the wine is allowed to rest for another nine months before release.
Laurie Hook, Beringer's Winemaker Emeritus, began her career in the winemaking program at University of California at Davis, which is noted for training some of the best winemakers around the world. Upon graduating in 1984, she traveled to Australia to work at a small winery. After returning to work a harvest in Sonoma, Laurie came to Beringer as an enologist in 1986, a job that allowed her to solidify the scientific side of her training. In 1997, she was named Assistant Winemaker to Beringer Winemaster Ed Sbragia, and in 2000 she was promoted to Winemaker for Beringer Vineyards. Laurie lead our winemaking team for 15 years before transitioning to winemaker Emeritus in 2015.
|Oak Treatment||91% new French oak barrels with medium toast for 20 months|
|Blend||100% Cabernet Franc|