CABERNET FRANC Look for Cabernet Franc where Cabernet Sauvignon is planted. In fact, it’s usually blended with Cabernet Sauvignon. On its own, it has a violet aroma and spicy flavor – providing subtle nuance to big, dark Cabs. Cabernet Franc makes its appearance in Cali 351 Cabernet Sauvignon.
CABERNET SAUVIGNON The king of red grapes, this big boy is the famous grape of Bordeaux – and Napa Valley. Turning out wines with great structure and deep black fruit flavors, the vine favors hot days, cool nights and even a bit of stress on the roots.
CHARDONNAY The queen of grapes. Chardonnay is the white grape of Burgundy, France. Depending on the climate and soils in which it’s grown, and the presence of oak and / or malo-lactic fermentation in the winemaking, the wine can be elegant with flinty mineral notes, or round and buttery with tropical fruit flavors. Cali Chardonnay is the perfect balance – elegant and complex, with a soft, round mouth feel.
MERLOT Surprise! When true to form, Merlot is no supermarket weakling. In fact, it’s the most widely planted grape in Bordeaux. Merlot grapes ripen earlier than Cabernet Sauvignon and do well in a slightly cooler climate where they can take time to mature fully. Less tannic than Cab and a little softer, you’ll find a soupcon of Merlot in Cali 351 Rosé.
PINOT NOIR Known as the winemaker’s grape, Pinot Noir is notoriously difficult to grow and craft into a well-balanced wine. Ah, but when it’s right, it is the most supple, earthy wine in the universe (to our knowledge). Likes a cool climate such, like its ancestral home – Burgundy, France.
ROSÉ Not actually a grape variety, Rosé is a pink wine made from any number of red grapes. Extremely popular in southern France, most Americans have yet to discover its virtues. Like white wine, Rose is best chilled.
SAUVIGNON BLANC The white grape of Bordeaux, Sauv Blanc is often blended with Semillon. And that’s how we do it here at Cali 351, to give a bit of honey and viscosity to the blend. Crisp, refreshing and amazingly versatile, Sauv Blanc’s flavors range from grass and herbs to green tea, limes and melons.
SEMILLON The second white grape of Bordeaux, Semillon is probably best known for the noble rot that transforms its sugars and flavors for the famous dessert wine Chateau d’Yquem and other “late-harvest” Sauternes. Harvested at its normal ripeness and blended with Sauv Blanc, it adds notes of fig, pear honey and even saffron.