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Frontier Justice Cabernet Franc Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard St. Helena Napa Valley 2018  - First Bottle


96 Jeb Dunnuck -
More chocolate, baking spices, and flowery blue fruit notes emerge from the 2018 Cabernet Franc Frontier Justice Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard, another full-bodied, beautifully balanced wine from this team. A blend of 77% Cabernet Franc and 23% Cabernet Sauvignon aged in 83% new French oak, it’s already drinking nicely, yet its balance as well as its fine tannins all point to it evolving gracefully for 15-20 years.
95 Wine Enthusiast -
This is an earthy interpretation of this wonderful grape from a well-respected site better known for Cabernet Sauvignon. Cedar, dried herb, black olive and cocoa powder highlight a hearty frame of supple red fruit, crushed rock, and dark chocolate, finishing in a bold tannic structure.

Technical Details

  • Blend77% Cabernet Franc, 22% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Petit Verdot
  • WinemakerPhilippe Melka, Maayan Koschitzky, and Matt Sands
  • CountryUS
  • RegionCalifornia
  • AppellationSt. Helena
  • VineyardBeckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard
  • OakFrench oak (75% new oak).
  • Aging/Cooperage20 Months
  • Harvest DateOctober 6th to October 14th, 2018
  • Alcohol15.9%
  • Production200 cases

Frontier Justice Cabernet Franc Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard St. Helena Napa Valley 2018

Cabernet Franc  |  US
JD96, WE95

58% off retail!

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!

About the Producer

Since the first vintage in 2004, Justice has represented Frontier company's foray into the deep end of the high-end Napa Cabernet pool. Their commitment to working with the best fruit available to produce single-vineyard wines of true expression has continued to set the tone for the entire portfolio, and a time-honored relationship with Andy Beckstoffer has helped create the foothold that has secured our continued access to two of Napa Valley’s most iconic vineyards. Even Wine Spectator got their hands on them over a decade ago and put the Justice trio in a “20 to Watch” feature. Combined with high accolades from Parker’s The Wine Advocate, among many others, it’s no surprise the Justice wines carry a distinctive legacy on their own. The Justice offerings feature three distinctly individual expressions of Napa Valley at its finest. Featuring two of Napa’s most heralded single-vineyard sites, Beckstoffer’s To Kalon and Dr. Crane vineyards, these wines spotlight the true expression of each site and the varietals that have helped make this region famous. The verdict is in and Justice is served.