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2010 Blueline Estate Cabernet Franc

2010 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
94% Cabernet Franc, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon 337, 3% Petit Verdot
Barrel Program
Aged 21 months in a blend of new and seasoned French oak

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Other Vintages

Current Vintage Overview

A cooler vintage by Napa standards, the daytime high temperatures of 2010 hovered consistently in the low 80s with cool evenings and mornings. The magic of the vintage was the consistency of temperatures over the entire growing season with no extended hot or cold/wet spikes, save for one heat cycle in the Fall. As a general rule, we stopped using the practice of de-leafing in cool vintages which was a huge benefit when we experienced an Indian summer heat spike in late September. While it took longer to develop flavors and ripen phenolics (with later picking dates across the various blocks), the even nature of the growing season provided ideal conditions for creating exceptionally balanced grape chemistry. Balance is the single hardest thing to accomplish in farming world-class wine and 2010 was a vintage that provided ideal conditions.

At Blueline, our Cabernet Franc is planted in an ancient upturned riverbed of cobble and sandy loam. High in mineral concentration and extremely well-drained, these soils coax out the best Cab Franc has to offer such that we celebrate it as a stand-alone varietal requiring only small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon (3%) and Petit Verdot (3%) to round out its core.

Tasting Profile

Cabernet Franc is a challenging grape varietal to properly ripen, but in the right soils (exceptionally well-drained) and growing conditions (longer and warmer is better) it renders one of the most sublime wines imaginable. In its perfectly ripened state, the beauty of Cabernet Franc is its complex layering of aromatic tones: cardamom, sage, and Herbes de Provence stacked with higher notes of crushed rose petals and violets. On the palate this wine is highly structured, yet deep in rich flavors of cassis, dark cherry, bay leaf, pipe tobacco and ripe plum. This is our fifth vintage of Cab Franc and 2010 represents our best work to date with this varietal.

Cellaring Potential

Good acidity and firm tannins frame the lush, dark fruit to provide a well delineated structure and hint at its aging potential. Compact structure with integrated tannins and balanced elements throughout will give the 2010 BLCF great aging potential over 20 years or more. This is a good candidate to lay down if you like the complexities age can render. 

~ 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
2009 Blueline Estate Cabernet Franc
2008 Blueline Estate Cabernet Franc
2007 Blueline Estate Cabernet Franc
2006 Blueline Estate Cabernet Franc