90 Points | Wine Advocate | Aug 2018
Rich, robust, and complex describe this Rockpile Cab. Abundant notes of mineral and graphite present on the nose before dark, dried cherry, savory spices, and baking chocolate flavors take over. The finish is long and focused with plenty of structure in this “mountain-fruit” wine.
2015 brought an early and light harvest that began on August 10, the earliest date in St. Francis’ history. The year started out very warm and dry but then cool, damp weather in May hampered fruit set. Though the result was smaller, looser clusters on the vine, the warm and consistent summer that followed produced high-quality fruit with exceptional aromatics and concentrated flavors.
We’ve sourced Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot from vineyards located 1,900 feet above Lake Sonoma in the Rockpile appellation, one of California’s newest and most admired appellations. With only about 160 planted acres, Rockpile is also one of the smallest AVAs in the United States. Climbing up the northern border of Dry Creek Valley, Rockpile’s high elevation, extreme terrain, and unique climate make it an exceptional grape-growing region producing remarkable, concentrated fruit.
All grapes are gently de-stemmed before cold-soaking for two days to extract optimal color and flavor. The fruit is fermented in separate lots, allowing each lot to be individually and distinctly crafted before being aged in French oak barrels, 55% new. The wine is kept in a barrel for 20 months before final blending.