Hello friends. Today we have the latest in our ongoing series of Full Pull & Friends negociant bottles, and it’s a beauty: a varietal bottling of a grape that in my opinion is not bottled on its own enough in Washington:
In many ways, a bottling like this perfectly matches the original vision for Full Pull & Friends, which was to pluck one or two barrels of single-vineyard, single-varietal juice that would have otherwise never seen the light of day.
There’s a lot to be excited about here. First, Cabernet Franc does great in Washington, landing somewhere between the Loire Valley and its brisk, vegetal (in a good way!) versions and versions from warmer climes, which can often drink almost exactly like Cabernet Sauvignon.
Second, the vineyard. The majority of single-vineyard Francs in the state seem to come from Weinbau Vineyard, and they can be outstanding. It’s fascinating, however, to taste terroir-expressive versions from other vineyards as well (Tranche’s Franc from Blue Mountain Vineyard, for example, has been extremely well-received by our list members). Our version today comes entirely from Bacchus Vineyard, a site (location here) probably best known for providing the backbone to some of the finest Cabernet Sauvignons in the state (Abeja Reserve comes to mind). But it’s also a stellar site for Franc. The Franc block was planted in 1997 on sandy/silty loam with pockets of clay. It’s managed by Kent Waliser and Derek Way (both long time Full Pull list members, as it happens). Derek mentioned that he enjoys working with winemakers who want Cab Franc to taste like Cab Franc: “If we choose certain rows, and intentionally leave a certain crop load and fruit exposure, we can maintain those characteristic intrinsic to Cab Franc.”
One such winemaker is our partner today. This is our second FP&F bottle to come from Chris Peterson of Avennia, and his classy winemaking is perfectly suited to coax terroir expressiveness out of this Franc. When we tasted these Franc barrels back in December, we tried a new barrel and a neutral barrel. I preferred the neutral barrel both aesthetically (I felt like it allowed the fruit to shine brighter) and because it keeps the price a few ticks lower.
Six months later, I’m pleased with that decision. This begins with a nose with a core of blackcurrant and blackberry fruit that gets serious lift from minty/eucalyptus tones. Franc’s unique subtleties of flower and earth turn up as well. In the mouth, this is a palate-stainer, coating the nooks and crannies with earthy Franc goodness. The plump mid-palate rolls into a finish with plenty of heft, the fine-grained tannins redolent of chamomile. That powerful, leafy finish is reminiscent of Cabernet Sauvignon, but the flavor profile is so uniquely, wonderfully Franc.
Please limit order requests to 12 bottles, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wine is in the warehouse and ready for immediate pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.