Best of Class - 2013 California State Fair
As prices for vineyard land in Napa Valley starting reaching ridiculous heights, vintners naturally turned to other, nearby growing areas to see if they could replicate Napa’s success at a more reasonable cost. One of the main areas they turned to is Lake County, just north of Napa over Mt. St. Helena, and east of Mendocino. The region does get quite hot in the summer, but it is cooler in the spring and fall, which has meant that it hasn’t been quite as hospitable for making big full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon. However, as tastes shift toward more elegant, balanced wines, expect to see Lake County grow in renown. In fact, it is already home to some great planting of other varieties, including Cabernet Franc.
The 2011 Starry Night Cabernet Franc is sourced from a single vineyard in Lake County, La Sierra. As one parent of Cabernet Sauvignon (the other being, obviously perhaps, Sauvignon Blanc), Cab Franc shares much in common with its more famous offspring. However, it does better in cooler climates, and can make a wider range of wine styles. The 2011 Starry Night is medium to pale ruby in color, with a nose of black cherry, sage, and earth. The palate shows red and black cherry and berry flavors, with dried herb adding depth. Nice weight with a clean, bright finish, this lovely red is perfect for lighter meat dishes, and shows stunning complexity for a wine under $20.
Composition: 100% Cabernet Franc
Cooperage: Combination of American and French oak barrels
Harvest Date: November 1, 2011
Average Sugar at Harvest: 25.4º brix
TA: .675 g/100ml
Production: 400 cases
The story of how they came into existence starts many years earlier when Wayne Hansen, Bruce Walker, Mike Miller and Skip Granger started making wine. Their motivation for this came from a shared life long passion for wine and an increasing disdain for the over priced and often mass-produced wines found in the market. We found that can make delicious wine at reasonable prices. To learn more about their story, visit Starry Night Winery at www.starrynightwinery.com.