Luscious flavors of ripe red berries and cherries are elegantly woven together with notes of caramelized fig, vanilla, and mint. Hints of dark fruit, dried hibiscus, and toasted oak delight the palate, with subtle undertones of licorice and sage. This mediumbodied wine boasts supple tannins and a balanced minerality.
In the USA, Cabernet Franc often lives in the shadows of its heftier offspring, Cabernet Sauvignon (co-parented by Sauvignon Blanc), but it secures a full share of the spotlight along the right bank of Garonne River in Bordeaux’s Saint-Émilion district. The grape is also popular in other parts of Europe and the New World because it fully ripens in locations that are too cool for Cabernet Sauvignon.
Cabernet Franc can function as a stand-alone varietal wine as well as a blending component for winemakers wanting to add more depth to the nose and palate of their Cabernet Sauvignons. It has a comparable level of intensity and richness, but it exhibits lighter colors and acidity, more aromatics, a smoother mouthfeel, and less tannin than Cabernet Sauvignon. Planted in 1980, Lewis Vineyard is situated east of Lodi on the banks of the Mokelumne River in well-drained rocky red soils at 600 feet above sea level. The area is mostly dry with warm-to-hot days and cool evenings produced by regular breezes from the Sacramento River Delta. The close proximity to the river maintains low overnight temperatures, resulting in bright acidity that merges with rounded tannins and full flavors in the finished wines.