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2006 Blueline Estate Cabernet Franc

2006 Blueline Estate Cabernet Franc

Bob Foley
Jeff and Carolyn Smith
The Chilton and Clark Families
Vineyard Designation
Blueline Estate
Soil Series
Gravelly Cortina River Wash
Calistoga, Napa Valley
100% Cabernet Franc
Barrel Program
Aged 24 months in a blend of new and seasoned French oak

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Other Vintages

Current Vintage Overview

We acquired the Blueline Estate in the Spring of 2006 and shortly thereafter went about the business of farming and learning the site. Our interest in the property stemmed from the two majestic streams that run through the property—Blueline streams known for their migratory Steelhead Trout runs as noted by the Department of Fish and Game. These gravel riverbed soils would prove to be the backbone of the vineyard and, in 2006, were a boon to our winemaking team. 

With no experience farming the property, this inaugural vintage is more a testimony to the site than a credit to our farming and winemaking. The 2006 vintage was warmer and longer than the preceding year.  With ample groundwater stored after a very wet ‘05 / ‘06 winter, the soils need few water additions throughout the growing season as the vineyard found a balanced percolation on its own. This balance was really achieved without our understanding or intervention. We later learned that deficit irrigation, as we tend to employ at Hourglass, is not appropriate at Blueline due to the extreme drainage of the riverbed gravels. The increased soil moisture of 2006 served to balance our approach as we ultimately came to understand the singular qualities of this new vineyard. Had we not had the groundwater available when we employed deficit irrigation, the vintage would have been a different story. Instead the ‘06 vintage resulted in an amazing start to our new estate project. 

Tasting Profile

The 2006 Cabernet Franc is deep with ripe dark fruit character, blackberry bramble with confected brown sugar notes and bright violet aromatics.  Its floral character drives through the palate, lending complexity to the dark fruit and lingering through an extended finish. Tannins are polished with supple texture.    

Cellaring Potential

Now in its ninth year, the 2006 BLCF has lost a bit of its brightness and purity of fruit but has yet to complete the aging cycle with the emergence of tertiary characteristics like sandalwood and saddle leather. Like the other 2006 Blueline Estate varietals, it seems to be in a transitional phase, not uncommon for Bordeaux varietals as the approach their tenth year. Should you have this in your cellar, our recommendation is to hold it through the transition and revisit it in two to three years.  

~ Jeff Smith, January 2016

Other Vintages

2015 Blueline Estate Cabernet Franc
2014 Blueline Estate Cabernet Franc
2013 Blueline Estate Cabernet Franc
2012 Blueline Estate Cabernet Franc
2011 Blueline Estate Cabernet Franc
2010 Blueline Estate Cabernet Franc
2009 Blueline Estate Cabernet Franc
2008 Blueline Estate Cabernet Franc
2007 Blueline Estate Cabernet Franc