A couple months ago, I had the opportunity to visit Franciscan Estate out in Napa Valley. Before arriving, I was familiar with the winery’s Napa Valley Cabernet, but while out there, I was introduced to a couple other Franciscan wines that are worth sharing with you.
When I think of a classic Napa Cabernet, the Franciscan Estate Napa Valley Cab is on my top ten list. My father introduced me to this wine about three years ago and ever since then I’ve always been sure to keep a bottle on hand. It is a rich, full-bodied wine with aromas of black cherry and plum, followed by notes of cedar and a long, lingering finish. If you’re looking to impress someone this holiday season, this Cab is worth the money ($24-28), and it can normally be found at your local grocery store.
Two wines that I experienced for the first time out in Napa were the Franciscan Cuvée Sauvage Chardonnay and the Stylus Cabernet Sauvignon. Residing at opposite ends of the spectrum, I was impressed by the rich and complex flavors of both these wines on my palate.
Tasting notes describe the Franciscan Cuvée Sauvage Chardonnay as a full-bodied wine, with flavors of sweet ripe pear, honeysuckle, and vanilla. Rich layers of baked apple, crème brûlée, honey, and citrus appear on a foundation of fresh cream and crisp acidity. If I’m going to drink Chardonnay I want it to be creamy and oaky like this one. I’ve tried the stainless steel aged Chardonnays and they’re just not the same as the ones that have touched oak barrels. It’s definitely a matter of preference, so I recommend trying several different types of Chardonnay before you reach a final decision.
The Stylus Cabernet Sauvignon is a winery-only wine so you won’t find it unless you make a special trip to Franciscan Estate (or purchase from the online shop), which is definitely a bummer because this wine was DA BOMB DIGGITGY!! Dark berries, vanilla, mocha, toasted oak and spice all melded together in one sip. I think us wine enthusiasts refer to that as “Heaven!”