In music, bel canto refers to a style of singing characterized by beauty of tone rather than dramatic power. (Literally “beautiful singing” in Italian.) Cadence’s Ben Smith named this wine well. Cabernet Franc from Cadence’s estate Cara Mia vineyard dominates the blend, and the interplay with a small amount of Merlot and Petit Verdot is a thing of beauty.
“(84% Cabernet Franc, 8% Merlot and 8% Petit Verdot; aged in 50% new French oak): Bright ruby-red. Exhilarating floral lift to the aromas of redcurrant and nutty oak; very Cabernet Franc. Perfectly integrated acidity energizes this somewhat muscular yet ultimately very suave wine, with the redcurrant and cherry flavours complicated by flowers, dusty dried herbs and minerals. Great subtle density here. Finishes with outstanding length and lift, harmonious smooth tannins, and a building sweetness to its floral perfume. This remarkably classy cab franc-based wine should evolve gracefully over the next 10 to 15 years.”
93+ points, Stephen Tanzer, vinous.com, Dec 2014
“Cabernet Franc (84%) takes the lead with the rest equal parts Merlot and Petit Verdot. It offers a complex assortment of herbs, including thyme and sage, along with floral notes, blackberry and anise. It’s restrained yet fully flavored with a captivating feel and firm, fine-grained tannins. A complete dazzler that will only improve with some additional time in the cellar. Best from 2014 on.”
93 points, “Cellar Selection”, Wine Enthusiast, March 2015
“More aromatic and complex, the 2011 Bel Canto (84% Cabernet Franc and 8% each of Merlot and Petit Verdot) has a juicy, lively feel with its exotic spices, dried flowers, smoke and assorted mulled blackberry and currant-styled fruit. Medium to full-bodied, nicely textured and already approachable and balanced, it will evolve nicely over the coming decade.”
92 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, June 2014