Year two of the drought continued to apply stress to the vines but ideal weather patterns contributed to a healthy crop. The cool vintage pushed the Cabernet Franc harvest out to late September, allowing for an unhurried season. RSV’s CCOF certified organic Vandal Vineyard has five blocks of Cabernet Franc on diverse terrain with slightly different aspects. This diversity, combined with the cool weather, allowed each block to be picked at optimal ripeness.
The wine was allowed to ferment on its native yeast before being put to bed in small French oak casks for a two year rest, except for being shaken awake at the halfway point on August 24th 2014 at 3:20 in the morning by the Napa Earthquake, in RSV’s caves.
The epicenter was just a mile south of The Three Amigos Vineyard. The little known and newly awakened South Napa Fault runs north from the epicenter through Sinskey’s OSR Vineyard, across the street from Robert’s house on the Capa Vineyard and then right through the middle of the Vandal Vineyard. Foot wide surface ruptures, and deep cracks in the earth that widened with every aftershock, were found in blocks of the OSR and Vandal Vineyards.
The presence of that fault helped Sinskey and other producers to understand the forces that created the geography of the region and the formations that define the unique hilly landscape of the upper Carneros compared to the relatively flat, lower Carneros.
This Cabernet Franc is a very elegantly styled, supple and balanced expression of the varietal. Aromas and flavors of mulberry, and red cherries are enhanced by savory olives and green peppercorn spice, and tanned suede. Very impressive and ready to drink now or the next 5+ years.