I.Brand Cabernet Franc 2021, DeRose Vineyard, Cienega Valley, San Benito County, Central Coast, California

Location: DeRose is a 25-year-old own rooted planing of Cabernet Franc. The DeRose Vineyard is part of the old Vaché planting and is the oldest continuously producing commercial vineyard in California. It was subsequently owned by William Palmtag and Almaden Winery, at which time it housed the largest barrel storage room in the world. Soils are a mix of lime and granite. The hill above the Cabernet Franc block is occupied by a lime mine. The DeRose Vineyard is organically farmed but not certified. Winemaking: 100% Cabernet Franc. A great locale for Cabernet Franc to exhibit a Loire-like structure overlaid with the bright fruit befitting California sunshine. Picked at moderate sugars and vinified whole berry (10% whole cluster) with spontaneous yeasts and a 20-day maceration in open-top fermenters. Aged 10 months on lees in neutral barrels and puncheons. Naturally bright and low alcohol. Tasting Notes: The initial bouquet is a lovely perfume of wild raspberry and Santa Rosa plum with subtle hints of sweet tobacco and violet. Red fruit persists on the palate, incorporating a vibrancy reminiscent of Ranier cherries. Underlying the ripeness of the fruit is a bright acidity melded with pronounced tannins to create a well-integrated interpretation of the variety.