2005 Cabernet Franc

Aromas:

Red raspberry, dried flowers, truffles & pipe tobacco.

Palate:

Ripe, supple tannins coupled with flavors of cherry preserves grilled plumbs & fresh thyme.

Food Pairings:

Try with a roasted chicken, grilled Portobello mushrooms, or white sauce pasta.

Vineyard:

Glen Manor Vineyard (60%), 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 to the blend. The vines were planted in 1996 and trained on the French lyre system. Hardscrabble Vineyard (30%), 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. Boisseau Vineyard (10%) The eponymous Boisseau Vineyard is located on a bluff above Front Royal in the Shenandoah Valley at an elevation of 600 feet. The vineyard is west facing on light, deep, well drained loam soils. Boisseau gives perfume and fat to the blend. The vines were planted in 2000 and are trained on cordon/VSP trellising.

Vintage:

Much of the growing season was cool, but a welcome hot August helped accelerate veraison and ripening, although we were still a few days behind normal as September approached. There was essentially no rain in September, but we were worried about drought stress in the later ripening reds. We were in that unusual situation where we were hoping for some rain during harvest to refresh the vines. We got more than we bargained for. Tammy dropped 4.5 inches of rain in a 24 hour period in early October. Picking stopped for 2 weeks as we waited for the soil, canopies and most importantly berries to dry out. Immediately after Tammy we had a very discouraging week of misty weather (NorEasterner) that did not add additional accumulation, but prevented things from drying out. The rest of October was mild and dry. Harvest for Cabernet Franc was from October 5 to October 20, 2005.

Winemaking:

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. We hand sort before destemming and then again afterwards to remove pink berries and stem pieces. Fermentation begins naturally, 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. 75% Cabernet Franc and 15% Petit Verdot, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. 500 cases produced. Drink now through 2010.