2021 Extradimensional Wine Co. Yeah!, Cabernet Franc, Mariana’s Vineyard, Santa Cruz Mountains.
The 2021 Extradimensional Wine Co. Yeah! Mariana’s Cab Franc, sourced from a small Santa Cruz Mountains vineyard site above Los Gatos, is fantastic and powerful wine with a deep sense of dark red berry fruit, seductive aromatics and firm structure, reminded me of a chiseled and savory toned Chinon, along with some generous Bordeaux like character baked in. It was great to visit the Extradimensional Wine Co. Yeah! tasting room and run into owner Hardy Wallace, who graciously spent some of busy harvest time to show off his latest wines, this one especially grabbing my attention, it maybe one of my top 5 Cabernet Francs made in California. The taut and complex palate flows with a layering of blackberry, currant, black cherry and plum fruit, along with a background of delicate baking spices, cedar, anise, earthy loam, bay leaf, cigar box, mineral notes and lingering floral tones. There’s serious tannin here, intense mountain fruit, restrained alcohol and subtle oak here in the Mariana’s Cabernet Franc that leads me to believe this wine has some incredible aging potential, in fact the sample I tried had been open for many days and was just beginning to rock and roll! The vines are all organically farmed at Mariana’s Vineyard, a small site that is situated atop a picturesque crest line in the Santa Cruz Mountains with redwood groves and sandstone soils, planted to mainly Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, plus the Cab Franc, that was put to good use here. Those that have had Ian Brand’s Bates Ranch Cab Franc, the Leo Steen Ascona Cab Franc and Ridge’s rare Perrone (Monte Bello) Cab Franc, all from the Santa Cruz Mountains, will absolutely love this wine.

One California’s most intriguing personalities in the wine business, winemaker Hardy Wallace, who was originally part of Dirty & Rowdy wines, has added to his exotic Extradimensional Wine Co. Yeah! collection of wines with some awesome new offerings, including this gripping Mariana’s Cab Franc, as well as its Bordeaux varietal sisters, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Along with those, I also tasted and loved his Rhone grapes set, with a gorgeous old vine Grenache and expressive old vine Carignan, being standouts, which I tried with Hardy recently at his new Sonoma tasting room, along with his Close Encounters orange wine and the Family Band red, a wildly good blend, that enjoys a slight chill, of Zinfandel, Grenache and Chardonnay! This new set of wines from Wallace, from the 2021 and 2022 vintages are brilliant bottlings, and all of them show off unique personalities and remarkably compelling wines, which I hope people get to sample and I recommend both getting on the mailing list and visiting the Extradimensional Wine Co. Yeah! Tasting room in beautiful downtown Sonoma, just off the historic main square. Wallace, who works as non interventional as possible, paying close attention to pick dates to achieve perfect ripeness, but with lower Brix (sugars) to achieve elegance and balance. The Cab Franc looks to have a pretty classic or old school lengthy native yeast fermentation and maceration with some rigorous punch-downs to allow for the full color and flavor extraction, after which it was aged using used French oak. As mentioned, there’s some fabulous wines in this winery’s lineup right now, all of which that I will review shortly, and this one gets better and better with each sip, I hope I get a chance to revisit it in a few years!
($85 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive

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