A row of barrels in the Relic cave.

2016 The Prior Cabernet Franc

Our love affair with Cabernet Franc continues, and the perfect ripeness provided by 2016 has provided a beautiful setting for amour. The fact that we were able to attain this ripeness without any desiccation - always our goal - has benefitted the wine tremendously. The color is deepest red/black, with hints of purple. The Prior displays a vibrant nose that is highly complex, deep and sensual, with notes of red cherry and black cassis, spiced jam, pink peppercorn, Nicoise olive, and toasted oak. The palate has a classic feel, but on a large frame, allowing the flavors of black fruits and spice to resonate through the young, structured finish. The tannins are copious but fine, lending focus to the long, intense finish.

  • 76% Cabernet Franc, 24% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Cabernet Franc from Frediani Vineyards on Pickett Road
  • 35 year-old vines planted in deep volcanic gravel
  • Cabernet Sauvignon from Kenefick Ranch
  • Aged in 80% new French Darnajou and Bossuet barrels
  • 244 cases produced from 10 barrels

A blend of 76% Cabernet Franc and 24% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2016 Cabernet Franc The Prior comes from the Frediani Vineyard, which is near Eisele Vineyard off Pickett Road in Calistoga. It's incredibly complex and nuanced, with terrific notes of black raspberries, black cherries, potpourri, spring flowers, and dried earth. As with all these wines, it's seamless, silky, and pure, with beautiful intensity yet no sensation of weight or heaviness.
Jeb Dunnuck
January 2019
A blend of 76% Cabernet Franc and 24% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 22 months in 80% new French oak, the deep garnet-purple colored 2016 Cabernet Franc The Prior has fragrant red and black currant notes with lovely black cherries, black tea, pencil shavings and damp soil with a waft of bay leaves. Medium to full-bodied with a firm frame of chewy tannins and just enough freshness supporting the intense red and black fruits, it finishes with an earthy lift.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown
The Wine Advocate
October 2018