Franciscan Estate Review
Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot predominate at this big winery, whose tasting-room staffers aim to educate you—if you're willing—about the wines. The best of winemaker Janet Myers's reds are bold yet smooth, with just enough tannins to build character but not overwhelm. These wines include the reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and her versions of Franciscan's Magnficat blend, among the first of the Napa Valley's now-familiar Meritage wines. You can learn about the blending process at one of two seminars ($50 each); a third explores how the sense of smell controls taste. In good weather, the education moves outdoors for vineyard tours ($25). Franciscan also pours the dense, complex wines—including the truly lofty Cabernet Sauvignon Elevation 1550—Myers produces for Mount Veeder Winery.