- Item #: i_201520Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 95Jeb Dunnuck: 98Arrow and Branch proprietors (and Laguna Beach locals) Steve and Seanne Contursi share a great love for the wines of Bordeaux, particularly those produced with a large quantity of Cabernet Franc, such as Château Cheval Blanc. The couple sought out their Coombsville vineyard property with an eye to producing top-quality Cabernet Franc-based wines from Napa Valley. They bought the Arrow & Branch Vineyard in November 2007, as this vineyard was the source of Tony Soter's renowned and highly rated Little Creek Cabernet Franc. The Contursi's have maintained the organic farming and, through their work with the detail-oriented Viticulturalist Mike Wolf, are continually improving this wonderful vineyard site.
JEB DUNNUCK 98 POINTS - "The 2016 Red Wine flirts with perfection and should be snatched up by savvy readers. Tasting like a great vintage of Cheval Blanc with its incredible perfume of crème de cassis, spring flowers, and forest floor, it has beautiful complexity, medium to full body, thrilling purity and elegance, and a great, great finish. This beauty is all about complexity and nuance, yet it has loads of intensity and depth, silky tannins, and the class to keep for two decades. The blend is 50% Cabernet Franc, 24% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the balance Petit Verdot, all aged 22 months in barrel. Hats off to winemaker Jennifer Williams for this brilliant wine!"
ANTONIO GALLONI 95 POINTS - "Jen Williams seems to have really found her stride at Arrow and Branch. The 2016s represent another major step forward. The wines are bold, racy and irresistibly delicious."
"Arrow and Branch's 2016 Red Wine is built on a core of Cabernet Franc from two sites in Coombsville. Aromatically expressive and ample, the Red Wine is superb. Red cherry, plum, espresso, grilled herbs and flowers build as this beautifully layered wine shows off its personality. The 2016 is powerful and concentrated, yet also retains quite a bit of aromatic lift that gives the wine poise and a sense of balance. It is a stunning wine in every way."
- Item #: i_207840Bottle Size: 750mlA blend of 93% Cabernet Franc and 7% Petit Verdot, this wine has a dark garnet core, with brilliant clarity in the glass. Intense, effusively luscious flavors of ripe red berries with caramelised notes of fig, cherry, and plum, elegantly woven together in barrel. Long-finishing and tannically vivid, yet with a remarkably soft palate.
- Item #: i_210440Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93Jeb Dunnuck: 93JEB DUNNUCK 93 POINTS - "Lastly, the 2017 Cabernet Franc comes from Napa Valley (I'm not exactly sure where the fruit is from) and is all varietal. It's a more opulent wine than the Cabernet and has considerable fruit, richness, and depth on the palate, loads of dark, chocolaty fruit, and terrific notes of spring flowers, gravelly earth, forest floor, and hints of espresso. Beautifully done and balanced, with sweet tannins, it's a beautiful wine."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2017 Cabernet Franc displays pronounced red and black cherries, mulberries and warm raspberries scents with underlying blueberries, pencil shavings and dried Provence herbs plus a waft of lavender. Medium to full-bodied, the palate offers mouth-filling red and blue fruits with a firm, grainy frame and bold freshness, finishing long and perfumed."
- Item #: i_200420Bottle Size: 750mlThis is only the third release of Le Boucher; a tribute to David Long's father, Donald Long. A blend of 67% Cabernet Franc, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, and 8% Petit Verdot aged in French oak, of which 84% was new. A deep ruby red color offers aromas of baked cherry, plum and pomegranate; followed by subtle earth tones of cherry wood, toasted oak and bay laurel as well as violet like floral notes. The palate is expansive yet finessed with fine grain tannins and mild acidity while long and persistent. Flavors of boysenberry, cherry and toffee carry a long finish. A deft and precise wine with evolving layers to be best from 2019 to 2029. Only 143 cases were produced!
- Item #: i_216360Bottle Size: 750mlMedium intensity with cranberry, raspberry, dark cherry, and slight toastiness from oak. Soft earthy tannins are balanced perfectly with vibrant acidity. The combination of European and American oak adds layers of spicy flavors.
- Item #: i_232200Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 97ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 97 POINTS - "This was an incredible tasting with winemaker Matt Dees. This estate continues to produce some of the most impressive, long-lived wines in Santa Barbara."
"The inky colored 2009 El Alma de Jonata, which was made from 70% Cabernet Franc, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot, is no less impressive, exhibiting rich, full notes of cigar, chocolate, tobacco leaf and crushed rock notes to go with a massively built, structured profile on the palate. Very full-bodied and one big wine, it can be enjoyed now or cellared for a decade. Drink now-2023."
- Item #: i_232250Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 96Jeb Dunnuck: 95ANTONIO GALLONI 96 POINTS - "The 2017 El Alma de Jonata, the estate's Cabernet Franc-based wine, is bright, aromatically explosive and just striking in its beauty. Bright red fruit, blood orange, menthol and plum race out of the glass in a wine endowed with tremendous energy, tension and pure class. Medium in body, with tremendous aromatic intensity and drive, the Alma is positively striking. The 2017 is one of the very finest editions I can remember tasting. In a word: dazzling."
JEB DUNNUCK 95 POINTS - "The 300 case 2017 El Alma De Jonata is the Cabernet Franc-dominated cuvee, a blend of 86% Cabernet Franc, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon. Bright cherry, blackberry, ground herbs, lead pencil, and crushed violet notes all emerge from the glass, and this beauty is incredibly seamless, pure, and polished on the palate. With ultra-fine tannins, a great mid-palate, and plenty of structure, it's a more fresh, focused, classic example of this cuvee. Hide bottles for 4-5 years and enjoy over the following two decades."
- Item #: i_235140Bottle Size: 750mlIn the heart of Napa Valley's Calistoga region lies a property that amazes both the sightseer, and the winemaker. Tom Kenefick's vineyard has been the source for many high-scoring wines from Lewis, Behren's and Hitchcock, and Cade.
Aged for 18 months in 65% new French oak, this wine has bright briary fruit nuance, dried cherry notes, and Baker's Chocolate greet the nose. Softly rounded tannins, underlined by cassis, and hints of creme brulee. Good to drink now but is a contender for cellaring 10 to 15 years.
- Item #: i_236560Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96Jeb Dunnuck: 95This Cabernet Franc wine comes from an exceptional little vineyard planted in 1976 next to La Jota's century-old stone winery on Howell Mountain. Grafted onto resistant St. George rootstock, it escaped the ravages of phylloxera to become one of the oldest Cabernet Franc vineyards in Napa County. The old vines self-regulate so there's no need to thin crop, pull leaves, or in any other way adjust the grape-to-canopy ratio. Year after year, the grapes are intensely flavored and beautifully balanced. Not many wineries produce Cabernet Franc and this wine definitely captures the essence of La Jota terroir.
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 96 POINTS - "The 2017 Cabernet Franc Howell Mountain is very deep purple-black colored and gives expressive black cherries, kirsch, warm blackberries and boysenberry scents with touches of sawdust, red roses, camphor and cinnamon stick plus a waft of stewed tea. Full-bodied, the palate reveals a lot of depth with tons of red and black fruit layers and savory accents, framed by ripe, firm, grainy tannins, finishing with a refreshing lift and some mineral notions coming through."
JEB DUNNUCK 95 POINTS - "Lastly, the 2017 Cabernet Franc comes from three separate parcels and is 100% Cabernet Franc aged in 92% new French oak. It's an awesome bottle of wine with classic Franc black tea and forest floor notes as well as perfumed black raspberry fruits, lots of floral and bay leaf hints, medium to full body, fine tannins, and a terrific sense of elegance. It's a classy wine to enjoy any time over the coming 15-20 years."
- Item #: i_237020Bottle Size: 750MLJohn & Tracey Skupney's 214 Cabernet Franc (named after the specific clone used in the wine) is viewed as a 'Vin de Garde', or a wine to age, meaning that with proper cellaring the wine will display additional complexities and nuance.
This is the seventh vintage of Lang & Reed "Two-Fourteen" Cabernet Franc, which displays a brilliant crimson color with a typical, youthful violet-blue edge. The aroma distills white and red cherry with an ethereal "sous bois" (or forest floor) impression. On the palate, this wine possesses bright and pure Cabernet Franc flavors of firm black cherry, cassis and graphite, which are expansive and made mouthwatering by ample fresh fruit acidity. The finish is supported by solid, but not oppressive, tannins, which have flavor elements that provide memorable length. This is a fresh and exacting expression of Cabernet Franc, attributed to the 214 clone, that will serve well now or gain in complexity with additional bottle age.
- Item #: i_245360Bottle Size: 750mlA single barrel bottling of 100% Cabernet Franc crafted by legendary winemaker Luc Morlet • Fruit comes exclusively from the renowned Oakville Bench in the heart of the Napa Valley • Natural fermentation occurred in a highly soughtafter Darnajou Puncheon French oak barrel • The strong personality of this 2014 amazes now and will gain incredible complexity for 35-plus years Wine Facts • Wine is unfiltered • Single vineyard wine • Sustainably produced
- Item #: i_247600Bottle Size: 750mlWINE ENTHUSIAST - Vanilla bean, blackberry and bramble berry aromas are teased by star anise on the nose. The smooth palate is juicy with acidity and flavors of cranberry, raspberry and plum. Crushed velvet tannins add depth along with flavors of kitchen herbs, a sprinkle of pepper and a drop of vanilla. Baking spice appears on the finish ending on a savory note with red plum.
- Item #: i_248580Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 94Jeb Dunnuck: 94Ovid Vineyards is one of the true new "cult kids on the street". The vineyards are meticulously maintained by David Abreu, and the wines are made by Austin Peterson. Each year, from small lots of fruit grown in the red rocky soil of Ovid's vineyard on Pritchard Hill, Austin choose just the best barrels and blend them together to create the new vintage of OVID NAPA VALLEY. The vineyard’s evolution fascinates with each succeeding vintage, new dimensions of the wines are revealed. OVID is a blend of the four Bordeaux varietals grown on their property on Pritchard Hill: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot, varying in proportion from year to year but always eloquently conveying this special place.
ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "The 2017 Hexameter, Ovid's Cabernet Franc-based blend, is bright and focused, with tons of Franc character in its aromatic and flavor profiles and weight. Sweet red cherry, mint, white pepper, blood orange and flowers give the 2017 striking top notes and energy. Medium in body and finely cut, the Hexameter speaks with a very distinctive voice. The 2017 is super-precise, but it is also a touch light. It will be interesting to see if it fleshes out a bit more with aging. The 2017 is a wine of extreme and total finesse."
JEB DUNNUCK 94 POINTS - "The 2017 Hexameter checks in as 47% Cabernet Franc, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 12% Merlot that was brought up in 60% new French oak. It has a terrific, spicy, complex style in its black raspberry and cassis fruits as well as notes of toasted bread, flowery incense, spice, and crushed flowers. Full-bodied, rich, and beautifully concentrated, it shows nicely integrated acidity, building tannins, and a great finish."
- Item #: i_222830Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 93Jeb Dunnuck: 95JEB DUNNUCK 95 POINTS - "The Bordeaux side of the Parabellum series, the 2017 Parabellum Alluvio is based on 60% Cabernet Franc, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the final 7% Petit Verdot. This deep ruby/plum-hued effort offers lots of chocolate laced red and black fruits, smoked earth, tobacco leaf, and truffle notes. Full-bodied, rich, and nicely textured, it has some background oak that should integrate with 3-4 years of bottle age, and it's going to have a 15-year or longer drink window."
ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 93 POINTS - "Bright saturated ruby. Pungent Cabernet Franc high notes of violet and tropical bitter chocolate lift black fruits and graphite on the nose. Thick and plush but also sappy on the palate; a very rich but classically dry, ripe style with terrific density and good mineral definition to its black cherry, cassis and blackberry fruit flavors. But still quite youthful and primary, and a touch inky toward the back. Finishes with serious dusty but fairly fine tannins, juicy slow-mounting length and surprising grip. The wine's dominant Cabernet Franc component really expresses itself here."
- Item #: i_249240Bottle Size: 750mlWinemaker's Tasting Notes: "This Cabernet Franc is deeply pigmented and rich. Aromas remind me of blueberry pie, with a nice touch of toasty French Oak. Ripe and peppery from nose to palate. One of the best Cab Francs we have made. Dense concentrated flavors, black fruit driven with impression of cocoa powder, dark chocolate, and olallieberry. Delicious. "
- Item #: i_253210Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96Vinous Media: 97Jeb Dunnuck: 99JEB DUNNUCK 99 POINTS - "The vivid purple-hued 2018 Falstaff is mostly Cabernet Franc blended with a splash of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot that's primarily from the Upper Range Vineyard, which sits on the east side of the Silverado Trail overlooking the Georges III Vineyard. Beautiful black cherry, blueberry, spring flowers, incense, and forest floor notes all emerge from the glass, and this awesome wine has a purity of fruit that is just about off the charts. Medium to full-bodied and flawlessly balanced, with good acidity and silky tannins, it's as classy and elegant as they come yet still brings awesome opulence and richness. It has some upfront charm but deserves 4-5 years of bottle age. It will evolve for 30 years or more."
ANTONIO GALLONI 97 POINTS - "A drop-dead gorgeous beauty, the 2018 Falstaff showcases the tremendous character of Cabernet Franc, an inspiration from Dalla Valle's Maya. Iron, smoke, cedar, red fruit and mint give Falstaff striking aromatic intensity and nuance, especially with a bit of aeration. This is the first vintage based on Franc from Realm's development in Upper Range, on the western hills above Rutherford. Needless to say, it is a very impressive debut. Time in the glass brings out richness, power and textural depth that amplify the red fruit flavors. Bright acids and beams of tannin give the wine energy and a real sense of drive. The blend is 65% Cabernet Franc, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 96 POINTS - "The 2018 The Falstaff is composed of 65% Cabernet Franc (from Upper Range vineyard), 25% Cabernet Sauvignon (from Beckstoffer To Kalon vineyard) and 10% Merlot (from Realm SLD, Blair and Orchard vineyards). Deep garnet-purple colored, it charges out of the gate with bright, vibrant cassis, black raspberries and warm redcurrants scents plus hints of wild sage, rose hip tea, fallen leaves and fragrant earth. Full-bodied, the palate reveals a rock-solid structure of firm, grainy and lively freshness, adeptly supporting the taut, muscular black and red fruits, finishing long with fantastic purity. (Note that The Falstaff was not made in 2017.)"
- Item #: i_270980Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 98ROBERT PARKER 98 POINTS - "This winery, one of the gems of the Kendall-Jackson portfolio of boutique wineries, debuted in 1998 and has been hitting on all cylinders since. I suspect top priority is given to Bordelais winemaker Pierre Seillan's choice of the finest fruit he can find from Jackson's holdings in Alexander Valley, Chalk Hill and Knights Valley."
"The 2014 Le Desir (53% Cabernet Franc, 21% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Malbec) has an inky purple color and a sweet kiss of chocolate, black truffle, forest floor, black raspberry and black currants. Opulent, but again structured and super-dense and pure, this is another massively concentrated wine meant for the long haul (and for our grandchildren). Give it 4-6 years of cellaring and drink it over the following 35-40 years. Remarkably, Pierre Seillan told me that 2014, while a drought year, was not actually that hot in the micro-terroirs he was working, but in terms of quality, it turned out to be the most surprisingly positive vintage he’s ever witnessed."
- Item #: i_270800Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 99Jeb Dunnuck: 99 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 99 POINTS - "The 2016 Le Desir checks in as 82% Cabernet Franc, 12% Merlot, and 6% Malbec. Readers looking for world-class Cabernet Franc should beg, borrow, or steal to get hold of a bottle of this. Incredible floral, violet, forest floor, lead pencil, and cassis notes all flow to a medium to full-bodied red that's flawlessly balanced, has ultra-fine tannins, and a finish that won't quit. More intellectual and elegant than the La Joie, it's still a wine of incredible intensity and class that builds incrementally on the palate, has an exotic, singular character, and the class to evolve for 30 years or more."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 99 POINTS - "Composed of 82% Cabernet Franc, 12% Merlot and 6% Malbec, the very deep purple-black colored 2016 Le Desir is a little closed to begin, opening out to reveal absolutely stunning scents of potpourri, roses and orange peel over a core of crushed blackcurrants, black cherries and dark chocolate with touches of cinnamon stick and cloves plus a waft of forest floor. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is exquisitely delicate and refined, with super ripe, fine-grained tannins and wonderful freshness, finishing with epic persistence. 3,500 cases produced."