2004 Cabernet Franc
Ripe Bing cherries and strawberries; leafy and herbaceous; rose petals.
Pinot Noir like texture, soft entry and fleshy; bramble fruit, cured tobacco, and eucalyptus.
Red meats always work well with Linden red wines, but we do find that our Cabernet Franc also pairs well with vegetable dishes such as mushrooms or sun dried tomatoes.
Glen Manor Vineyard (67%), Warren Co. is on the western slope of the Blue Ridge about 7 miles west of Linden Vineyards at an elevation of 1,100 feet. The deep, fertile silt soils give roundness. The vines were planted in 1996 and trained on the French lyre system. Hardscrabble Vineyard (33%), Fauquier Co. on top of the Blue Ridge at 1,300 to 1,400 feet with an eastern to southern slope. Deep, well-drained mineral soils give acidity and good structure. Vines were planted in 1985, 1988 and 1991.
2004 can best be categorized as a roller coaster vintage. The growing season was quite good, with a very early flowering due to a hot May, below normal summer temperatures, and a slightly higher than normal rainfall. Mid August through early September was a beautiful window of perfect ripening weather. Low crop levels combined with an early flowering resulted in a very early start of the harvest under ideal conditions. Mid-September was problematic with a series of rains from hurricanes that brought some dilution and berry splitting. Late September through mid October gave us beautiful sunny, dry weather. The reds were able to take advantage of this. There was much fruit desiccation because of splitting and botrytis from the hurricanes, but this seemed only to concentrate, in a good way, as there was no sour rot or off flavors. The vintage reminds us of 1999, which produced wines with silky tannins, generous fruit and medium body. Harvest for Cabernet Franc was from October 7 to October 13, 2004.
The more I work with Cabernet Franc I find that I am intrigued with its savory perfume and delicate, soft finish. My winemaking is more Burgundian than Bordelais with Franc. At the destemmer we hand sort before destemming and then again after destemming to remove pink berries and stem pieces. Fermentation is un-innoculated in small one ton fermenters. We punch down by hand once or twice per day. Pressing takes place after about 7 to 10 days, usually before fermentations are complete. The wine was aged in old (neutral) oak barrels for 9 months and bottled early to retain aromatics and finesse. 88% Cabernet Franc and 12% Petit Verdot. 295 cases produced.