Ravenswood Cabernet Franc 1997
Sonoma Valley hillside plantings, the source for this wine, are in well-drained soils that tend to limit the natural strong vigor of the Cabernet Franc vine, keep the tonnage low and the berries small and intense. The result is striking. The wine tends toward very concentrated with perfumes and considerable aromatics. Spice, leather, blackberries and smoky scents are all found in the aroma. The wine is rich and lively on the palate with a long, complex finish, punctuated with noticeable soft tannins.
Fueled initially by the inspiration and winemaking skills of Joel Peterson, aided and abetted by his business partner W. Reed Foster, Ravenswood winery has been dedicated to top quality, hand-crafted wine since the first crush in 1976. Every Ravenswood wine carries a unique vintage and vineyard identity in addition to the intense powerful – gothic – character with which the winery has come to be associated.
A key to Ravenswood’s success is their long-standing relationships with over 60 independent grape growers. Vineyards are chosen for their location, age, yield and special flavor characteristics. At Ravenswood, they are devoted to working with growers who share their philosophy about high quality.
Ravenswood Vineyard Designate wines are made employing what Joel Peterson refers to as “stubborn and impractical” Old World enological practices. Wines are fermented in small wooden tanks using wild, natural yeasts and punched down by hand three to five times per day. The wines are characterized by intense, spicy aromas supported by rich, berry flavors and long, clean finishes.