2016 Detert East Block-Save the Date

Save the Date - Thursday, September 12th
2016 East Block Release
Dear Mark,

The 2016 Detert East Block Cabernet Franc will be released next Thursday, September 12th. We will be sending you an email that day with an invitation to purchase your allocation. Allocations will be open through September 30th and will begin shipping the first week of November.

We craft the East Block from our 7-acre block of old-vine Cabernet Franc within the historic To Kalon Vineyard in Oakville. These are the oldest Cabernet Franc vines in Napa Valley - an exceptional, unique and rare wine.

2016 East Block Cabernet Franc Tasting Notes:

Classic aromas of black currant, grilled herbs, bay leaf, baking cocoa and anise which are echoed on the generously textured palate. Broad and mouth-filling, this has the thrilling balance of a dense backward core of old-vine fruit character and a lively inner-energy. Beautifully layered, complex and totally compelling. Shows the definitive East Block balance of fruit and savory characteristics and the tug between power and restraint. - Winemaker, Tom Garrett

We produced only 100 cases of the extraordinary 2016 East Block.

Yup. An annual must-buy for me.

Seems like an interesting project. Are the prices reasonable? Wine searcher suggests the 14 was pretty reasonably priced.

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Had the 2009 a couple of years ago, was absolutely stunning. Definitely a wine that rewards patience.

It depends on what you consider reasonable. Last year’s price was $175.00. I believe the price is the same this year. FWIW, shipping is higher due to wines being shipped in a wood box. You can request to have the wines shipped without the box.


They’re in the upper eschelon of what I pay for wines, but that’s because they reflect the upper eschelon of what I enjoy in wines. YMMV, but to me these are truly special.

So I take it that this is their limited special release that they produce. They produce other cab Francs from the same block? What do those go for? And do they produce the variety from other Vineyards as well?

Sorry but I am just not up to speed on this producer. Cheers!

This explains the vineyard set up pretty well: Detert Family Vineyards - Vineyard

They have a “regular” CF and a CS as well, each of them going for about $95. Their neighbors (and cousins) on the other side of the fence run some outfit named Macdonald. I look forward to tasting those wines side by side one day.


Thank you for the link. Interesting stuff indeed in quite a pedigree. Just wondering if there are any other domestic cab francs at or near that price point?

I taste with Tom Garrett every year which includes East Block from the beginning, reviewing the first three vintages (09-11 released together). The previous year we tasted the 2010 East Block (in shiner) which had been part of the outstanding Premiere Napa Valley lot in 2011. At that point he hadn’t decided on how to release it. I just published my notes on the 2016 Detert releases, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc West, and East. As suggested above, the release price for the 100 case production of East Block remains at $175. Originally planted in 1949 by Martin Stelling of unknown origin, it was replanted by Detert in 1979 using the original material, now known simply as " The Detert Clone." I know that nobody here cares about my scores but if you want to experience the pinnacle of Cabernet Franc in California, this is it.

Here’s an excellent article on the history of To Kalon. Towards the end of the article is a section titled “The Last Families of To-Kalon Vineyard” which explains the MacDonald and Detert plots, as well as Martin Stelling planting Cab Franc on the Desert estate in 1949. The Garrets (Detert) and MacDonalds are cousins.

Excellent history, thanks for posting.

Where can I see your thoughts on this? Didn’t realize it was $175. Makes it more of a question

Allocation is live… .I got one!

I’m in. [cheers.gif]

Thanks Doug. Appreciate your thoughts on this one. I have tasted the regular CF and CS and quite enjoy the style.

Doesn’t seem to be to high in demand, I signed up on list the day before allocation and got 3 bottles of the East Block.

I badly wanted to take my allocation of East Block but I passed. With shipping, currency exchange and customs/duty fees it would have cost me over $400 Canadian per bottle. I can think of some spectacular aged Burgundy I could get for that kind of money. Not that I have any intention of spending that kind of money.

Can anyone recommended how long to decant one of these if I pop one for Thanksgiving?