2004 was a challenging but highly successful vintage for the Santa Cruz Mountains. A heat spike in early September forced us to re-evaluate our traditional cool-climate viticultural practices. Hard work and patience allowed us to adapt to growing conditions that were more like Napa or Sonoma than Santa Cruz Mountains. Beautiful weather during most of our “ripening zone” led to miniscule yields of intensely flavored fruit.
Gist Ranch, our new Estate Vineyard, is located about 14.5 miles south-east of the Fogarty winery. The vineyard features steep slopes perched at well over 2000 ft. of elevation. The rocky soils are low in nutrients and well-drained, perfect for the cultivation of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
Our 2004 Gist Ranch Cabernet Franc was aged for 22 months in 25% new Russian Oak with three to four rackings a year. We blended a small amount, 3%, of Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure and length.
Profoundly aromatic with notes of violets, black pepper, red fruits and fresh herbs, this is a seriously intense Franc that retains its sense of balance. Its concentration and fruit density are offset by integrated tannin and great acidity. The red fruits are mirrored in the mouth where a hint of toast and spice add further complexity. Drink or hold for 5-7 years.
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