2012 Boisseau

December 2018: Tasting Notes

Warm, red compote fruit aromas. Reminds me of a Chateauneuf-du-Pape.
The mid-palate is surprisingly lean, which belies it’s 15.1% alcohol. May be in a dumb stage right now. Seems to need more time to open up.


Enters with sweet cherries, then fresh herbs. Finishes with dusty tannins and a bit of fresh acidity.


Ripe plums, raspberry compote, fresh tarragon.

Food Pairings

Rare duck breast, curried lamb, and ribeye steaks.


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.


2012 was back to some welcome degree of normalcy after the freakishly hot and dry 2010 and the rain soaked September of 2011. An extremely mild and dry winter gave us bud break a record 3 to 4 weeks earlier than average. Frost our biggest concern, but the mild winter continued into spring resulting in a frost-free season. A dry, warm April and May was welcomed by older vines, but concerning to young plantings. Flowering was still 2 to 3 weeks early, but occurred under generally favorable conditions and we were looking at a generous crop across varieties.

Mid summer was hot and precipitation was variable. The vines were never very water stressed during the summer. Harvest began about 10 days early under typical September conditions. One day of rain was followed by a week of sun. As far as reds, Merlot and Cabernet Franc were very ripe with crunchy red fruit, firm tannins and moderate to high sugars. Cabernet Sauvignon was very ripe at Boisseau Vineyard. Petit Verdot was a mixed bag, as earlier ripening sites with better drained soils matured before there was too much berry degradation. This was not the case with older vines on heavier soils as clusters began to fall apart before they were totally physiologically ripe. The weather became dry, but cool in October and any grapes left on the vines experienced sugar increases due to dehydration, but phenolic ripening had ceased.


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. Pumped over averaging two times per day. Post fermentation macerations make for a total cuvaison of 24 to 28 days. Malo in barrels. The wine was aged in new (20%) and slightly used French oak barrels for 21 months. Bottled August 2014. 39% Cabernet Franc, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2020. 150 cases produced.

Red WinesJim Law