2005 Hardscrabble Red

Tasting notes November 2016: Mature nose: complex, Burgundian cassis, forest floor, bakery. Sweet red fruit entry. Tannins are fading. Wine is still fresh, but is short on structure. Drink soon. Pair with mushrooms or roast chicken. (JL)


Red plum, dried flowers, rosemary, graphite, elegant, long finish. 


Dark cherry, baked plum, stone dust, cedar, black currant jam, yeast.

Food Pairings

Standing rib roast, Kobe beef, duck breast.


Hardscrabble Vineyard (100%), Fauquier Co. on top of the Blue Ridge at 1,300 to 1,400 feet with an eastern to southern slope. Deep, well drained rocky, mineral soils give depth, structure and length. Vine ages from 3 to 21 years.


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 was from October 21 to 30, 2007.


This is a selection of the best vineyard blocks of Hardscrabble. We hand sort before destemming and then again afterwards to remove pink berries and stem pieces. Fermentation begins naturally in small one ton fermentors. We punch down by hand once or twice per day. Pressing takes place after about 7 to 10 days, usually before or just after fermentations are complete. The wine was aged in new and slightly used oak barrels and puncheons (French and Hungarian) for 18 months. Unfined and unfiltered. 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Petit Verdot, 8% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc. 352 cases produced. Drink now through 2015.