Vinum Cellars The Scrapper Cabernet Franc 2017
This heavily extracted Cabernet Franc is from mountain fruit and has a deep dark plum color showcasing the intense color capacity from grapes of low yielding vines. Intense blueberry, cassis and huckleberry aromas jump out of the glass and are framed by subtle cinnamon notes. On the palate the wine is silky in texture and then rolls into the varietal “franc” spice which is best described as fresh picked wild currants. The wine then displays it’s silky and elegant tannin's in the form of ripe blueberry, cassis, tobacco and black cherry lined with integrated vanilla made possible by 26 months of French oak aging. Cabernet Franc is still considered a somewhat esoteric grape varietal which has parentage tracing back to the king of grape varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a very special wine with limited production from a hillside, red dirt soil, head trained vine, single vineyard at an elevation of 1,600 feet within the Sierra Mountains in El Dorado.
It drinks well in its youth while sturdy, but will mature gracefully for 20+ years. Try this wine with any dish suitable for a big Cabernet Sauvignon. The pinnacle choice being New York Steak with a huckleberry demi glaze sauce with steamed baby carrots and mushroom couscous. Its great with any grilled or roasted meat such as Carnitas Pork, New Zealand Lamb chops or rosemary chicken. Try it withan Impossible Burger - epic!
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Reserved character here, with notes of cedar wood, tobacco, spices and lead pencil to the red fruit. Medium-to full-bodied with firm tannins and juicy dark fruit on the palate. Dry and polished with a long, even aftertaste. Drink or hold.
This big-shouldered franc has an herbaceous scent of nori and herbs, framing concentrated dark-berry fruit. It has its share of extract, and round, grippy tannins give off a hint of that cabernet franc florality.
This wine is tightly wound, intensely flavorful and will benefit from extended time in the bottle. A great nose of red and black cherries, cranberries and cinnamon is followed by densely layered fruit and subtle spice flavors, all wrapped in significant fine-grained tannins. Best from 2025.
Vinum Cellars is a collaboration of winemakers Richard Bruno and Chris Condos, who first became friends while they were students at UC Davis. They share a long standing passion for Chenin Blanc and fondness for the more obscure grape varieties. After graduation, Chris went to work for Pine Ridge as Enologist, and Richard went to Bonny Doon as their distiller. Shortly after, their friendship was solidified over Chenin Blanc with the creation of their first wine "Pointe Blanc". Currently the Vinum Cellars team is working with over 10 grape varieties from Placer County Cabernet Franc to San Benito County Viognier. In addition to the Vinum Cellars partnership, they are employed as winemakers: Chris with Kathryn Kennedy Winery and Richard as a Napa winemaking consultant.
"We are a small, California winery committed to crafting quality wines from single vineyards in California’s premium coastal and cool climate growing areas. “It is our basic winemaking philosophy to work with great grape growers to develop the best fruit in the vineyard. We pick the grapes at optimal ripeness and gently process the fruit. In the winery, we are experimental with yeast strains and use different cultures for each variety. Our belief in the use of older French Oak barrels allows the varietal fruit of our wines to be expressed. We are committed to experimenting and learning new winemaking methods while preserving an old world approach.” - Richard Bruno & Chris Condos
As home to California’s highest altitude vineyards, El Dorado is also one of its oldest wine growing regions. When gold miners settled here in the late 1800s, many also planted vineyards and made wine to quench its local demand.
By 1870, El Dorado County, as part of the greater Sierra Foothills growing area, was among the largest wine producers in the state, behind only Los Angeles and Sonoma counties. The local wine industry enjoyed great success until just after the turn of the century when fortune-seekers moved elsewhere and its population diminished. With Prohibition, winemaking and grape growing was totally abandoned. But some of these vines still exist today and are the treasure chest of the Sierra Foothills as we know them.
El Dorado has a diverse terrain with elevations ranging from 1,200 to 3,500 feet, creating countless mesoclimates for its vineyards. This diversity allows success with a wide range of grapes including whites like Gewurztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc, as well as for reds, Grenache, Syrah, Tempranillo, Barbera and especially, Zinfandel.
Soils tend to be fine-grained volcanic rock, shale and decomposed granite. Summer days are hot but nights are cool and the area typically gets ample precipitation in the form or rain or snow in the winter.
Cabernet Franc, a proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon, is the subtler and more delicate of the Cabernets. Today Cabernet Franc produces outstanding single varietal wines across the wine-producing world. Somm Secret—One of California's best-kept secrets is the Happy Canyon appellation of Santa Barbara. Here Cabernet Franc shines as a single varietal wine or in blends, expressing sumptuous fruit, savory aromas and polished tannins.