2017 Rousten Cabernet Franc

2017 Rousten Cabernet Franc

Wine Information

100% Cabernet Franc – Organically Grown




Monte Bello


Santa Cruz Mountains

Alcohol By Volume


Winemaker Tasting Notes

Deep garnet red color; aromas of sweet bramble fruit, black tea, chaparral, and toasted oak. Ripe cherry fruit entry, balanced acidity, integrated tannins, and smooth texture. Long, sensuous finish. EB (1/20)

Vintage Notes

Though winter was intensely cold and wet, a warm summer helped push ripening along. Temperatures dropped in mid-September but returned in late season to fully ripen seeds, making a more sensuous wine. The exceptional varietal character of this wine warranted a separate bottling. The parcel had to be replanted, making this the last vintage until the new vines mature. Until then, enjoy this wine over the next seven years.


Charles Rousten purchased seventy-five acres on Monte Bello in 1903. He planted vines and built a winery, BW (Bonded Winery) 180. During Prohibition, he converted most of the vines to prune orchards but kept about eight acres of vineyards. After repeal, he produced a small quantity of wine until his death in 1941, when his son, Charlie, inherited the property. Charlie operated the winery until sometime in the 1950s, when—fed up with the increasing paperwork demanded by the federal authorities—he famously refused to pay the federal excise taxes on his wine. He dumped all of the wine on the ground in front of a federal agent and threw him off the property. He tore out the remaining vines, closed the winery, and focused on the orchards, cattle, and hay. When Charlie died in 1990, he left his land to Lois Ortmann, who developed a successful boarding operation for horses. In 2007 Lois signed a long term lease with Ridge on thirty-seven acres and vines were re-planted starting in 2008.

Growing Season

Rainfall: 44.2 inches (above normal)
Bloom: June
Weather: A wet winter provided well-above normal rainfall. A cool spring affected fruit set but warm spells in summer pushed vines along. Labor Day heat wave ripened the grapes nicely.


Harvest Dates: 17 October
Grapes: Average Brix 24.7˚
TA: 6.60 g/L
pH: 3.84
Fermentation: 100% de-stemmed & whole berry fermentation on native yeasts. 100% Mistral berry sorted. Pressed at seven days. Natural malolactic (initiated in tank, sent to barrel on October 20th, finished December 3rd).
Barrels: 100% new air-dried American oak barrels.
Aging: Nineteen months in barrel

Hand-harvested, estate-grown organic grapes; de-stemmed and whole-berry fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur (35 ppm at crush, 103 ppm over the course of aging); pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.

Consumer Tasting Notes

Average Rating: 94.3

No. of Tasting Notes: 6

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