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Franciscan Chardonnay 2004

Winemaker's Notes:

In 1987, Franciscan introduced Napa's first unfiltered, wild yeast fermented Chardonnay - Cuvée Sauvage. Every year, Franciscan start by choosing the finest barrels and only the best lots from its vineyards. Larry Levin the winemaker said We don't add yeast -- we just put the juice in the barrel and pray. Nature takes over and native vineyard yeasts begin a wild and unpredictable fermentation. It begins slowly. And when it finally takes off, sometimes after days of nervous waiting, it moves at a leisurely pace and at cooler temperatures. This long, cool fermentation helps us preserve the distinct varietal character of the Chardonnay. Unlike commercially cultured yeast, wild yeasts contain several strains that work together to complete the fermentation. As one strain of wild yeast expires, another comes forward adding even more complexity and body to the wine. Each successive fermentation adds a new dimension, and each barrel develops its own personality. Fewer than half of the barrels we begin with will make the cut for Cuvée Sauvage. We taste every barrel and select only the finest, most expressive lots. And in the end, because both the grapes and the yeasts come from the same, specific place, Cuvée Sauvage is the ultimate expression of the vineyard. The delicate straw yellow appearance of this Chardonnay is complemented by a spicy vanilla fragrance, with hints of pear, honey and smoky, toasty oak. The lush flavours of peach, coconut, pear and spicy vanilla make this a complex Chardonnay, richly textured with a fleshy, round mouthfeel.

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Franciscan Oakville Estate:
Franciscan has its roots deeply embedded in the soil of Napa Valley. Founded over three decades ago, wine industry revolutionaries Raymond Duncan and Justin Meyer shaped the winery’s beginnings. In 1985, renowned vintner Agustin Huneeus took over the reins, leading the winery to greatness through innovation and a commitment to small-lot winemaking. Today, Director of Winemaking Janet M... Read more
Franciscan has its roots deeply embedded in the soil of Napa Valley. Founded over three decades ago, wine industry revolutionaries Raymond Duncan and Justin Meyer shaped the winery’s beginnings. In 1985, renowned vintner Agustin Huneeus took over the reins, leading the winery to greatness through innovation and a commitment to small-lot winemaking. Today, Director of Winemaking Janet Myers is preserving the winery’s legacy while leading it into the future. “We inherited a craftsman’s ethic here: work with nature, work in small lots, innovate. Our uniqueness depends on the details,” she says. All of Franciscan’s winemakers have left their individual marks, but all have remained true to Franciscan’s signature: bold wines with the rare combination of rich, vibrant flavors yet fine, supple texture. Read less

Member Reviews for Franciscan Chardonnay

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Snooth User: kungfustu
37995129
5.00 5
12/09/2007

Probably my favourite Chardonnay of all time, very well balanced.


Snooth User: winetime222
7644756
4.50 5
06/22/2008

This is really something different. The "wild yeast" gives it a distinctive taste -- maybe not for everyone, but Susan loves it. This is a keeper.


Snooth User: kindero
7940911
4.00 5
07/13/2008

There is some lightness here which is a very pleasing balance.



In 1987, Franciscan introduced Napa's first unfiltered, wild yeast fermented Chardonnay - Cuvée Sauvage. Every year, Franciscan start by choosing the finest barrels and only the best lots from its vineyards. Larry Levin the winemaker said We don't add yeast -- we just put the juice in the barrel and pray. Nature takes over and native vineyard yeasts begin a wild and unpredictable fermentation. It begins slowly. And when it finally takes off, sometimes after days of nervous waiting, it moves at a leisurely pace and at cooler temperatures. This long, cool fermentation helps us preserve the distinct varietal character of the Chardonnay. Unlike commercially cultured yeast, wild yeasts contain several strains that work together to complete the fermentation. As one strain of wild yeast expires, another comes forward adding even more complexity and body to the wine. Each successive fermentation adds a new dimension, and each barrel develops its own personality. Fewer than half of the barrels we begin with will make the cut for Cuvée Sauvage. We taste every barrel and select only the finest, most expressive lots. And in the end, because both the grapes and the yeasts come from the same, specific place, Cuvée Sauvage is the ultimate expression of the vineyard. The delicate straw yellow appearance of this Chardonnay is complemented by a spicy vanilla fragrance, with hints of pear, honey and smoky, toasty oak. The lush flavours of peach, coconut, pear and spicy vanilla make this a complex Chardonnay, richly textured with a fleshy, round mouthfeel.

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