This wine has reposed in my cellar for a year, because knowing the house and the grape and eyeing the 15.5% alcohol it seemed unwise to review it sooner (sorry, PR contact).
It is still a colossus, enormously tannic and powerful. The base is 80 percent Cabernet Franc, faintly leavened by 20 percent Merlot. Fruit derives from Somerston’s 24-acre Deerhound estate vineyard in the hills above Napa Valley, and the wine enjoyed two years in French oak barrels, two-thirds new.
Its aromas are like black coffee and cassis, and the body is likewise anchored by a core of black chocolate and festooned with dark fruit and spice. I gave it an hour of air, and then a day of air, and it was still vigorous, youthful, muscular, quite drying. It lacks Cabernet Franc’s hallmark green notes—no Loire vigneron would pick this out in a lineup—but that’s not unexpected given the ripe house style.
Hold this vintage for ten years, minimum.
2013 Somerston Cabernet Franc Deerhound Napa Valley
15.5% abv | $90 (sample) 198 cases made