The winery's President, Christopher Silva, is a fifth generation Sonoma County native that believes that the best wines can be grown in Sonoma County. His mission is for St. Francis Winery to become the premier producer of Sonoma wine. He is also seriously engaged in green practices such as water and energy conservation, wild life and natural resource preservtion, and use of solar energy.
I recently received a sample of the winery's new releases sent to me for review by Kobrand Corporation and so here are my tasting notes:
• 2005 St. Francis Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County: made from grapes coming from five Sonoma County appellations: Sonoma Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley, and Rockpile. My notes: dark red color, black and wild berries on the nose, firm backbone on the palate, young but well balanced, good acidity, food-friendy. Try it with a Southwest Blackened Beef Rib Eye.
• 2005 St. Francis Merlot Sonoma County: the fruits come from selected vineyards through out Sonoma County, with diverse micro-climates ranging from the hillsides of the Mayacamas Mountains to the cooler Sonoma Valley floor. My notes: dark color, sweet berry and vanilla on the nose, softer and sweeter on the palate than the Cabernet, smoky finish. Try it with Pork Chop with Caramelized Onion
• 2006 St. Francis Zinfandel Old Vines Sonoma County: comes from head-trained and dry farmed vines that must be at least 50 years old, with many as old as hundred years old. My notes: medium garnet color, sweet red fruit on the nose, berry compote on the palate, juicy, pleasant finish. I am usually not too crazy about Zinfandel but this one was actually very tasty and food friendly in spite of its 15.5% alcohol content. Try it with Sonoma Sausage Sauté with Peppers and Mushrooms
Wild Oak by St. Francis is a new line of hand-crafted, limited production, varietal wines, named for Sonoma's Heritage oak trees.
• 2004 Wild Oak Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County: according to the winery's notes, the fruits for this wine come from diverse locations: Lagomarsino Vineyard in the Russian River Valley for generous power and luscious mouthfeel, the red volcanic soil and high altitude climate of Nuns Canyon Vineyard for firm structure, dark color, rich berrylike character and ample tannin, the McCoy Ranch in the Mayacamas Mountains for intense Cabernet and firm chewy Merlot, more Merlot coming from the estate Behler Vineyard, and a touch of Rockpile's Petit Verdot to deepen the color and expands the texture and finish. My notes: dark garnet color, blackberry and wild berry on the nose, rich, firm, and oaky on the palate with some good acidity, promising but needs more cellaring time. The wine was actually better the day after opening. Try it (in a few years) with Braised Lamb Shank Osso Buco
• 2005 Wild Oak Merlot Sonoma County: according to the winery's notes, the grapes coming from the 35-year-old estate Behler Vineyard in Sonoma Valley bring intense, rich, fleshy fruit typical of Merlot grown on cooler valley floor vineyards. Additionally, a small amount of Merlot and Cabernet from Nuns Canyon Vineyard located along the Mayacamas provides the mountain grown fruit possessing the tannins needed to give the wine structure and complexity. My notes: deep purple color, sweet berry and tobacco on the nose, full-bodied on the palate, quite young and oaky right now. Try it with Five Spice Spare Ribs
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