The 2017 Fatalist Cabernet Franc is a wine of prodigious sophistication. Deep berry fruit aromas are accentuated with notes of mocha, caramel and exotic amburana spice. The palate is impossibly pure and seamless, filling the mouth with supple flavors of strawberry, black cherry and black currant, all underlain by hints of espresso, cedar, tobacco, graphite and leather. Polished tannins glide into a sleek, unending finish that leaves you wanting more.
The 2017 Fatalist Cabernet Franc comes from a small 2.6 acre estate block situated along an upper highland, where rocky loam and limestone soils impart qualities of intensity and finesse. This block is planted entirely to Clone 332, which is prized for its sturdy tannins, beautiful spiciness and Bordeaux-style profile. Perhaps more than any other grape variety, Cabernet Franc exemplifies what is special about the terroir of the Brick Barn estate vineyard, which lies just north of the Santa Ynez River in a largely unexplored winegrowing corridor near the city of Buellton in the western Santa Ynez Valley. Here, persistent sun exposure ensures ripe flavors, while the Pacific Ocean—just 10 miles away—delivers daily cooling that maintains fruit acidity and structure. The result is a cool-climate Cabernet Franc expression with uncommon grace and complexity.
The 2017 Fatalist Cabernet Franc was aged for three years in premium Russian oak barrels for optimal maturity and integration. Winemaker Adrian Bolshoi tasted through every Cabernet Franc barrel from the vintage and selected the finest two to create this ultra-limited release. The journey of this wine began when the fruit was destemmed and cold soaked, then fermented in small 1.5-ton bins over a period of two weeks. At the conclusion of fermentation, the must was gently pressed and settled, and the wine was racked to a combination of French and American oak barrels. During the aging process, Adrian identified the remarkable qualities of the two Russian oak barrels and held them for extended aging totaling 38 months, allowing for the development of textural depth, supple tannins and seamless integration. The result is this special hand-bottled selection known as Fatalist.
Cabernet Franc has undeniably emerged as our most acclaimed and coveted estate wine, and now comes this inaugural vintage of our Fatalist Cabernet Franc representing a special selection of the finest two barrels from the 2017 vintage.