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Lexington Gist Ranch Estate Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Franc 2011

The Gist Ranch estate vineyard was planted to Bordeaux varietals at an elevation of almost 2200 feet and 15 miles from the Pacific. Sedimentary in nature and Quartz rich. Highly porous, but remarkably resistant to erosion. One of the few plantings of Bordeaux varietals on the Pacific plate of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Intensive "living soil" philosophy - cover cropping, compost and teas to encourage micro-flora and fauna. Fermented with native yeasts and an average of 14-21 days on the skins, then pressed to barrel.14 months in used French oak with a total production of 173 cases.

John Gilman 93 Points

The 2011 cabernet franc from new Lexington project from Thomas Fogarty and Nathan Kandler comes in at 14.4 percent alcohol and, like the merlot bottling, was aged entirely in used barrels. The wine is excellent, jumping from the glass in a deep and classy blend of cassis, black cherries, a touch of currant leaf, cigar ash, lovely soil tones and a nice framing of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and complex, with a fine core of fruit, moderate tannins, good acids and excellent length and grip on the complex and still fairly youthful finish. This wine is beautifully light on its feet, without lacking depth, and is quite tasty today, but really deserves four or five years in the cellar (at least) to allow it to fully blossom. It is a very high class, Cheval Blanc-like example of cabernet franc. Given that the ranch was only planted in 1999 and this is the result of vines that are only twelve years of age, I cannot wait to see future vintages, as once these vines really start to get some age under their toes, they are going to be produce some stunningly mineral-driven examples of cabernet franc. But, the 2011 is outstanding and a very, very strong first vintage here! 2019-2040+.

Vinous 89 Points

The 2011 Cabernet Franc Gist Ranch Estate shows gorgeous purity in its fruit, even if it isn't especially varietal. Dark red berries, flowers, sweet spices and mint are all laced together in a silky, gracious wine. A hint of rose petals adds complexity on the finish.


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