Russian River Valley

Sonoma County




Bill Nachbaur

Harvest Dates


Alcohol / pH

13.6 % / 3.71

Titratable Acidity

0.55 gms / 100mL

Barrel Aging

17 months in French Oak

Cases Produced


Suggested Retail



Russian River Valley

Cabernet Franc

We have always enjoyed cabernet franc as produced in the Loire Valley, the historical source for many delightful French bistro wines.  Searching here in Sonoma County we found a vineyard that produces cabernet franc grapes in this style, the Alegría Vineyard near Healdsburg.  Owned by Bill and Betsy Nachbaur, this vineyard is a cool site for cabernet franc, even if it is the warmest section of the Russian River Valley.  The grapes take a long time to mature here, typically not ripening until late October, and some years November.  Bill's viticultural expertise and the vineyard's limited vigor conspire to produce cabernet franc true to the Loire benchmark style.

The Alegria soils are a deep clay loam, slightly acidic, and peppered with stones of oceanic and volcanic origins.  The vineyard was planted in 1991 to Clone 1.  The double cordon trellising at Alegria is higher than normal allowing better canopy control for balancing sunlight/shade to achieve optimal flavors.

Winemaker Notes

2010 was our inaugural year working with cabernet franc from the Alegría Vineyard.  Here too, the August heat wave took its toll, shocking many clusters to shut down early, resulting in a below average yield. Even so, ripening continued on through mid-October, at which time we decided to pick just before a huge 2-day storm hit Sonoma County.  We're glad we did. 

The 2010 Cabernet Franc hits the mark we were aiming for.  It has a fruit-forward nose full of fresh boysenberries, violets, fresh cracked Tellicherry peppercorns and a chalky aroma suggestive of graphite.  On the palate, the wine is lively and full of bright berry and herb flavors, leading to a clean finish graced with notes of wet stones.  This wine is versatile, pairing well with virtually anything that bistro you call a kitchen is whipping up, such as grilled steak, roasted chicken, or gratin with leeks and potatoes.


  1. SILVER MEDAL - SF Chronicle 2013 Wine Competition

  2. BRONZE MEDAL - Grand Harvest Awards

  3. Wine Enthusiast - 90 points
    “Medium bodied and dry, this has a savory spiciness, with long-lasting flavors of cherry and smoky, vanilla-scented oak. A coating of finely ground tannins gives it enough bite to accompany steak. One of the best Cabernet Francs from the Russian River Valley in a long time.”
    - Steve Heimoff 2/1/13