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.
The fruit for our Reserve Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is grown at high elevations on sloped hillsides with good drainage. Climbing as high as 1400 feet along the sun-drenched, western-facing slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains, the fruit sits well above the fog line. Naturally protected from the wind, dry hot days combine with bracingly cold nights which puts an element of stress on the vines resulting in small clusters, small berries, and intensified flavors.
The grapes were hand-sorted and underwent a two-day cold soak prior to fermentation to extract optimal color and flavor. After primary fermentation, the wine was then aged in French oak barrels, 75% new, where it underwent malolactic fermentation, followed by 20 months of aging.