2009 Boisseau

November 2018: Tasting Notes

A most intriguing nose of black currant compote and young Ruby Port. Reminiscent of a very ripe Syrah.  However the palate is very different. Still very tight with almost bracing acidity reminding me of a young Medoc. Could use some more time on palate, but will aromas remain so seductive?


Warm, sweet entry, ripe fruit and dusty tannins.


Dark cherry compote, rose petals, sweet pastry and milk chocolate.

Food Pairings

Duck confit, lamb shanks, and any red meat from the grill.


Boisseau Vineyard, Warren Co. 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. The vines were planted in 2000 and are trained on cordon/VSP trellising.


2009 started with a very cool, wet spring. As the season progressed, weather conditions improved. June was manageable, July was typical with only the occasional thunderstorm and August was dry, but cooler than normal. It was obvious at véraison that it would be a late season and that red clusters, especially Cabernet Franc and Merlot, were uneven in their ripening. As a result, green harvest at 80% véraison was ruthless.

“Uncommonly lucky” refers to an amazingly dry stretch during harvest. Northern Virginia was spared from the significant rains that soaked areas to the north, east, south and west. Red winegrapes required judicious work in the vineyard, meticulous sorting at the crush pad, bleeding, and draconian declassification. Harvest was October 1 to October 8.


This is a selection of the best vineyard blocks of Boisseau Vineyard. We hand sort before destemming and then again afterwards to remove pink berries and stem pieces. 15% bleed. An average of 5 days cold soak. Fermentation begins naturally (no added yeast) in small one-ton fermenters. Punched down and pumped over averaging two times per day. Extensive post fermentation macerations make for a total cuvaison of 28 to 30 days. Malo in barrels. The wine was aged in new (30%) and slightly used French oak barrels for 21 months. Bottled July of 2011. 43% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Franc, 26% Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2017. 180 cases produced.