- Blend77% Cabernet Franc, 22% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Petit Verdot
- WinemakerPhilippe Melka, Maayan Koschitzky, and Matt Sands
- AppellationSt. Helena
- VineyardBeckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard
- OakFrench oak (75% new oak).
- Aging/Cooperage20 Months
- Harvest DateOctober 6th to October 14th, 2018
- Production200 cases
Frontier Justice Cabernet Franc Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard St. Helena Napa Valley 2018
Oops! In our email, we mentioned the previous winemaker and big fan of First Bottle, Tim Milos. The winemakers listed below are indeed the winemakers from 2018 forward.
How we scored this will remain forever our secret, but First Bottle peeps...all we can say is JUMP and lock it in. Made by none other than the best winemaking team in the Valley: Philippe Melka, Maayan Koschitzky, and Matt Sands, with several 100-pointers to their names, from the hallowed ground of Beckstoffer’s Dr. Crane Vineyard in St. Helena – this is pedigree and power all wrapped up into one silky, polished cabernet franc! What a price!
96 points! From the iconic Dr. Crane vineyard, one of the very best on St. Helena’s revered western benchlands, no less! Here at the base of the Mayacamas mountains, a potent mix of gravelly, alluvial soils, interspersed with pummeled volcanic rock and ash combines to provide the perfect balance of stress and nutrients to allow cabernet franc to flourish. The vineyard – like most others in the Beckstoffer portfolio – is widely renowned for its cabernet sauvignon (and this wine uses 23% of that fine grape from here in the blend), but in this bottling...the cabernet franc proves it is more than worthy of greater attention.
With an ample 83% new French oak here for the aging, the wine’s considerable structure has been polished to a glowing sheen – with no rough edges to trip up the expansive and considerable palate. The florals and brightness that is classic cabernet franc take the lead out of the glass, with lilacs, and hibiscus, accompanied by tarragon, and bay laurel. Red berries and cherries explode the moment the wine strikes flesh – with silky smooth chocolate-covered blueberries, followed by cedar, and black olive tapenade, with a gravelly, minerally, St. Emilion sort of finish. It’s certainly modern, and undeniably Napa – yet the franc here serves up a slice of old-world Bordeaux alongside it, and the combination is nothing short of satisfying. We’ve had a string of top Napa cabernet francs hit the site as of late – and this is certainly one of the very best. Top it all off with the fantastic 2018 vintage, and you have a showstopper of a wine that is sure to impress and develop seamlessly for decades to come! And that’s just the 750s! These magnums are the epitome of what every collector wants in a big bottle – ageless, flashy, explosive, and sure to commandeer any conversation, in any room of wine lovers. To have such a wine, at well over 50% off – well, that’s something special indeed! While they last!
PAIRING IDEAS: The heft of this wine is ideal for steak, but the brightness and elegance make me want to go for a less-than-traditional preparation. So, I’m thinking NY Strip, with some sake-steamed Tokyo turnips, a few dollops of trout roe, some sweet chili roasted brussels, atop a bright puree of sorrel and horseradish, with some spicy mizuna greens, and a Japanese BBQ taré drizzled over all. Bit of work, but I assure you – totally worth it!