2016 Cabernet Franc
- Cabernet Franc Clone 331 Pyrénées-Atlantiques, France
- Alcohol – 15.5%
- Residual Sugar – 0.4 g/L
- Total Acidity – 6.6 g/L
- pH – 3.66
- Brix – 32
- Cases Produced – 170
- Released – 2019
- SKU – 144681
The 2016 vintage was another unusual record-breaking season which saw an extremely early spring. The hot, dry temperatures in April and May led to our earliest bud break and flowering. This was followed by a cooler than normal summer and a wet and chilly fall. The moderation in weather, without the intense heat spikes that are typical of Okanagan summers, was beneficial for the grapes in slowing down ripening and allowing for a long hang time into September and October. Some intense wind and hail events in the Similkameen Valley in the fall unfortunately made for challenging harvest conditions. The temperate autumn temperatures, however, enabled ideal flavour development in the grapes, while still retaining the crisp acidity so prized in premium, food friendly wines. Overall, the conditions resulted in quality fruit and were fantastic for reating wines with elegance and abundant flavour. Growing degree days in Cawston from April to October of 2016 were 1,521, this is above the local twelve-year average of 1,320.
Terroir and Microclimate
Located high on a hillside overlooking the Similkameen Valley, Vanessa Vineyard’s grapes are cultivated on 75 acres of sloping, well-drained, rocky terrain. The vines grow in rows of rocks, absorbing the day heat and imparting that warmth during the cooler nights. Planted in a west to southwest exposure, the rocky vineyard basks in the afternoon sun. Ideally situated, the vineyard benefits from a long growing season, with low yields of intensely ripe fruit. The unique stony site produces fruit with complex flavours and minerality that are truly distinctive.
This 100% estate grown Cabernet Franc captures the elegant essence of the Similkameen. The grapes were destemmed and underwent a gentle crush before small-batch fermentation and hand punch down to maximize flavour and extraction. This cuvée is almost entirely composed of free run juice with only a small quantity of pressed juice added to balance the tannins. Fermented in small batches and aged for 20 months in 7 barrels of French and America oak, this Cabernet Franc is a benchmark expression of the Similkameen terroir and destined to be a cult classic.
Intense aromas of black plum and raspberry meld with complex violet and potpourri floral notes along with some dried sage, black liquorice, charred meat, dark chocolate and a graphite minerality. The palate shows fine, dusty, integrated tannins and crisp acidity along with fresh sun-warmed berries, clove infused shortbread, some pepper and a long finish of salty minerality and dried herbs.