2016 Cabernet Francis, Family Collection, Knights Valley
Our 2016 Cabernet Francis was awarded a gold medal, and with just one taste you can see why! The beautiful bouquet opens with plum, elderberry, fleur de sel, clove, and vanilla. The palate is brimming with ripe plum, elderberry, toasty oak notes, and chocolate, that are accented by a light note of fresh herbs. This large scaled Cabernet Franc remains elegant thanks to its balanced acid and great tannin structure. It is a total joy to drink now and will continue to develop in the cellar for years to come.
The Story Behind Cabernet Francis
At their annual audience with Pope Francis in 2014, Tim and Steph Busch, founders of Trinitas Cellars in Napa, presented Pope Francis with his very first bottle of Cabernet Francis. It was the second time Tim and Steph gifted a Pope a wine named in their honor.
“Your wine is augmenting the Pope’s vices,” Pope Francis told the Busch’s through an interpreter.
The eponymous wine is crafted from 100 percent Cabernet Franc grapes from John Pelkan’s esteemed vineyard in Knights Valley. Which is located a half dozen miles north of Calistoga in Sonoma County. “I’m honored,” Pelkan said of the Pope’s fondness for the wine made from his grapes.
When the Busch’s learned in 2013 that Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was named Pope, they called their son, Trinitas CEO Garrett Busch, and said they wanted a new wine made for the new Pope.
“It would have been logical to make a Malbec,” Pelkan said, since that is an Argentinian grape. But you can’t just pull a ready-made wine out of a hat.
A Cabernet Franc that was in barrel seemed a better choice and was named Cabernet Francis. They hand-bottled and labeled a half-dozen or so bottles, with most of them destined to be given as gifts to cardinals during Tim and Steph Busch’s visit in 2014. They gave away all but one bottle, which they saved for the Pope. When the Pope saw the bottle, he pointed to it and said, “Me vino, me vino.”
Later in the day, the Busch’s got a call from someone in the Pope’s office to tell them he shared the bottle at lunch and would like more. Tim Busch got on the phone and contacted all the cardinals they had given bottles to and retrieved those that had not already been drunk.