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by Fred McMillin
A Super Franc
From the Jarvis Winery brochure: "Wine writer Fred McMillin states that, 'Jarvis Cabernet Franc can leap tall buildings in a single bound. It is super.'"
The Rest of the Story
Who makes such a wine? Well, he merely was trained by the greatest California winemaker of this century, Andre Tchelistcheff. He is Andre's son, Dimitri. Proprietor William Jarvis likes Dimitri's work, saying his many skills include "the uncanny ability to taste a new wine and accurtely predict what it will be like not only in two years when it is due for release, but also in the next ten to fifteen years."
In a blind tasting, my panel found the '96 Franc dazzling. How long will it stay that way? Dimitri says that while the wine is already delightfully approachable, "due to its superior quality fruit and structure, it will age beautifully over the next 10 years."
1996 Cabernet Franc, Napa Valley
About those small production figures, don't expect any large increase. In his new book, Three Generations, Proprietor Jarvis gives two reasons why he's not expanding: 1) You can make better wine on a small scale, and 2) you can enjoy the operation more if it's small. William, and his co-owner wife Leticia, and Dimitri are doing just that...enjoying making better wine!
Note: For more about the winery, see the June 11, 1998 WineDay titled, "Javis Bliss."
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