2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Franc • Estate Bottled
California: Napa Valley
What we say
UNIQUE WINE ALERT:
Today’s Cabernet Franc is a beautifully balanced example of the varietal, mixing California fruit, with a slightly Old World French style. The result is delicious.
SUPERIOR VINTAGE ALERT:
The 2007 vintage is the first Northern California vintage in nearly ten years to be given a 96 Point Score by the Wine Advocate’s Rober Parker.
SECRET SAVINGS ALERT:
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Mission Codename: The Decagon
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Return to Hagafan Cellars, a Napa Valley gem found along the Silverado Trail in the Napa Valley. Taste their 2007 Cabernet Franc, the first that they have made in more than a decade. If the wine is exceptional, secure an allocation for our growing base of Franc-loving Operatives.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Hagafen Cellars
Wine Subject: 2007 Napa Valley Estate Bottled Cabernet Franc
Winemaker: Ernie Weir
Backgrounder: Hagafen Cellars produces a diverse selection of prized varietals while remaining a hidden gem among wine industry giants. Nestled along the Silverado Trail in the exciting Stags Leap District, Hagafen Cellars is a gold medal-winning winery that crafts small lots of distinctive and delicious wines.
Varietal Backgrounder: Cabernet Franc is one of Agent Red’s favorite red varietals. Perhaps this is because its flavors are often rich, layered, complex and elegant. Or, perhaps he loves Cabernet Franc so much because it pairs so exceptionally with many different foods. One of the most notable things about Cabernet Franc is the fact that finding excellent examples can be very difficult.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Perfect ruby red, with a reddish pink band of color that encircles the wine at the edge of the glass. After swirling the wine, ultra-thin tears start high up on the glass, and then run quickly down.
Smell – Perfumy, with a balance of fruit and earth, this wine leads with black cherry, blackberry bramble, soft brown spice, tobacco leaf, blackberry, red plum and red hard candy. After the wine breaths for a while, additional aromas emerge, with fine dried cranberry and hints of cedar and fresh violets.
Feel – Light and fast across the front palate. The wine is soft on the mid palate. Then, almost immediately, the wine coats the tongue and spreads a gradual dryness outward. Eventually, the cheeks and lips are dried, as fine grained tannins and high acidity work their magic.
Taste – Rich black cherry and black plum are the initial flavors here. After a moment, blackberry, tart plum, soft brown spice, dusty bramble, candied cherry and sweetwoods appear.
Finish – Long and flavorful, with the fruit falling a little more quickly than the earthen flavors and spice. Long after the primary flavors fade, black cherry, and peppery spice persist at the back palate for a very long time.
Conclusion – The 2007 Estate Bottled Cabernet Franc from our friends at Hagafen Cellars, is a delicious, slightly austere wine. Reminding us of a French Cab Franc, but with great California fruit, this is an interesting wine that is as fun to ruminate over as it is to drink. With a bright profile, this is one food-friendly wine. We paired ours with fresh ravioli and sausage in a rich meat sauce. The pairing was absolutely perfect. Enjoy this wine with nearly any food, or sip it all on its own. This is a more earthy Cab Franc than most Cali Francs. For the fact that it is different, we really loved it. Don’t get me wrong, though, this is still a fruit-filled and approachable wine. It is not one of those dirty French Francs that you may have tasted. Be sure to decant for optimal results. Ready to drink now, be sure to save a few bottles for the holidays.
AGENT RED: Greetings, Ernie. We are thrilled to be showing your 2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Franc today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
WINEMAKER: It is great to be back with you, Red.
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
WINEMAKER: I have always had an attraction to this revered beverage.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
WINEMAKER: I was enamored with the wines of Louis Martini in the 70s as I recall
RED: Who do you make wine for?
WINEMAKER: Most decidedly, we produce wines for consumers to enjoy
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
WINEMAKER: This 2007 Estate Bottled Cabernet Franc, from the winemaker’s Vichy Ave vineyard, is the first Cab Franc we have produced in more than ten years.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
WINEMAKER: Gazpacho or other fully flavored vegetable based entree, Indian cuisine, curry, serve C Franc slightly chilled
RED: In your opinion, what makes the Napa Valley so special?
WINEMAKER: Rolling foothills, well drained soils, cool evenings. The region produces Merlot and Cabernet of softness and full roundness, with little if any herbaceousness. When made well made, these varietals are a pleasure to enjoy.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
WINEMAKER: We bottling in one month so it is now time for racking and blending. Then, barrel preparation for next harvest… and so it goes.
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
WINEMAKER: Take it easy, do not fear and enjoy
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
WINEMAKER: Make sure to share the wine with someone you enjoy, the experience will be one worth remembering
RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Hagafen Cellars Estate vineyards and winery can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the winery says
Awards & Accolades:
PLATINUM Medal — Critics Challenge
GOLD Medal — New World International
About This Wine:
This intensely colored Cabernet Franc—our first new release of this varietal in more than ten years!—is grown in the well-drained, stoney soils of our newest vineyard, Weir Family Vineyard III, in the Eastern bench of the Napa Valley. The rich, spicy nose of red and black fruits compliments the brooding and spice-filled black cherry and tobacco on the palate. The addition of 4% Merlot enhances the complexity of the wine, as well as adding to our trademark robust and silky mid-palate. Aged for 19 months in small French and American oak cooperage, our Cabernet Franc will flourish with bottle age. This newest wine is surely a treasure to keep for many years in your personal cellar.
About The Winery:
Hagafen Cellars is located in the Napa Valley, in the heart of California’s premier wine grape region. Less than a mile south of the famed Stags leap District and twenty yards from the Oak Knoll District—Napa’s newest and most exciting of American Viticultural Areas—our well-drained soil is ideal for the growth and production of ripe and rich, intensely fruity small lot estate bottled wines. Owned and operated by Irit and Ernie Weir, the winery was founded in 1979, and the first commercially released vintage was harvested in 1980. In the ensuing years, we have grown from a small partnership producing wine with grapes from Winery Lake Vineyard, then owned by Rene DiRosa, to a well-established wine company whose wines are distributed throughout North America and overseas. Since 1980 our wines have been served on numerous occasions at the White House to visiting foreign dignitaries. The cornerstone of our lives are the Silverado Trail winery and tasting room and our two estate vineyards in the eastern benchland of the Napa Valley.
Ernie’s daily involvement in the two sides of wine production, grape growing and winemaking, ensures the superb quality of our wines. “Fine wine starts in the vineyard with careful vineyard management,” says Weir. “I strive to take maximum advantage of the Napa Valley’s natural geology and climate to produce the best wine varietals. I interfere as little as possible with the soil, creating a balance that minimizes the chemical and erosion impact by using modern farming techniques while maintaining the age-old wisdom of balance and the traditional values of conservation and land stewardship. Once harvest is completed, I undertake the second part of my job, winemaking. This presents an interesting challenge every time since each year the growing season and harvest are unique and different. I never seek to change what Nature has provided. My goal is to showcase the best that our land has produced.”
We look forward to meeting you here in Napa at our winery and tasting room on the Silverado Trail.
Family, Tradition, Excellence: Think Hagafen!
About The Winemaker:
Ernie Weir – “I interfere as little as possible with the soil, creating a balance that minimizes the chemical and erosion impact by using time honored farming techniques while maintaining the age-old wisdom of balance and the traditional values of conservation and land stewardship. Once harvest is completed, I undertake the second part of my job, winemaking. This presents an interesting challenge every time since each year the growing season and harvest are unique and different. I never seek to change what Nature has provided. My goal is to showcase the best that our land has produced.”
“Passion, soul, and enjoyment—without all three, you don’t have a fine wine.”
Harvest: September 5th, 2007
Brix at harvest: 22.8
Acidity: 5.7 g/L
Varietals: 96% Cab Franc / 4% Merlot