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2014 Blueline Estate Cabernet Franc
Current Vintage Overview
The third year of California’s current drought cycle, 2014, was marked by a dry warm spring with early bud break and an even, warm summer. Harvest was on the early side, but not as early as 2015. Much of a vine’s hormonal cues are driven by soil and climate conditions in the spring. Soil temperature, available nutrients, available water and timing all interact with the plant to trigger its growth cycle and crop loads. Moreover, berry sizing is a function of these conditions. As a great deal of structure, flavor and aromatics are contained in the berry skins, small berries generally lead to improved density, richness and brighter aromas. As a result, the 2014 spring conditions contributed to smaller berry sizes and crop loads, and ultimately a fantastic grape chemistry. While not as tannic a vintage as 2013 yet more tannic than ‘12, 2014 as a whole fell right between ‘12 and ‘13 in terms of the balance of mouthfeel and aromatics. The ‘14s lean more toward the bright high toned aromatics of ‘12, yet with some, if not all, the density of ‘13. Ideally balanced, 2014 is reminiscent of the ‘01 wines, some of the most well preserved of their decade, tracking much like a mid ‘70s vintage. We can only hope 2014 follows in that vein.
In a state like California, there are few benefits to drought, yet the art of crafting extraordinary wines is one significant exception. Some of the mid ‘70s vintages, also grown during a drought cycle, remain legendary for the longevity and freshness their classic structural core provides. 2012, ’13 and ’14 vintages could play out much like those ‘70s vintages. While differing in character, 2012, ’13 and ’14 share a freshness of fruit expression and a tightly woven inner structural core—critical to a red wine’s age-ability. It stands to reason these vintages will hold up very well, long into the future.
This wine is a dark beauty—mysterious and brooding, yet laced with an amazingly elegant fragrance of violets and rose petals. Firm, tightly knitted tannins—noticeable yet refined—reveal a well-defined center core wrapped in the layer of richness endowed by a generous dose of Cabernet Sauvignon. Notes of dark chocolate and coffee interlace flavors of black currant and cassis. Slightly more linear on the palate than the voluptuous ‘13 Blueline Cab Franc, this wine is built for age; beautiful balance and a long trailing finish hint at its cellar potential.
The 2014 Cab Franc is one of the finest vintages of this varietal we have crafted to date. More structurally compact than the other 2014 varietals from the Blueline Estate, this Cab Franc elicits a linear precision and structural stuffing to age for 20+ years. Our hope is that the exotic aromatic will continue to develop and become more complex over time.
~ Jeff Smith, March 2016
2016 Blueline Estate Cabernet Franc
2015 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
2006 Blueline Estate Cabernet Franc