Boisseau Red | 2014 | $45

Palate

Enters fresh and herbal. Finishes with a bit of fresh acidity and moderate tannins. An elegant Boisseau Red.

Aromas

Fresh sweet cherries, fall leaves.

Food Pairings

Coq au vin, stuffed pork loin, rare seared tuna.

Vineyard

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.

Vintage

Climate is what you plan for and weather is what you get. This is why the somewhat unremarkable 2014 growing season was so good: we got what we planned for. A very long cold winter damaged some vines and delayed spring. However, summer was beautiful. Dry, warm weather slowed the vine’s vegetative growth. Instead of putting energy into producing more leaves, which will happen in a wet summer, the vines put their energy into ripening the grapes. We knew something good was to happen when veraison occurred sooner (and faster) than expected.

Spring and mid-summer lay the foundation of the vintage, but late August through mid-October determine the style, character and quality of the wines. The beginning of harvest started in early September. It was typical of the “cat and mouse” picking strategies that we are all now accustomed to. A few days of sunny delightful weather followed by showers characterized the start of harvest. Mid-September to early October was our big break with very little rain and mild temperatures, although it remained somewhat cloudy. Ripening took its time with lower than average sugars and higher than average acids. Merlot was a bit stubborn. It refused to gain the flesh and fat that it is known for. Cabernet Franc produced wines with a rich mid-palate and forward fruit, but lacking in length. Cabernet Sauvignon, which had very ripe skin tannins, supplies the length. We were rewarded with plush, energetic Cabernet Sauvignon. 2014 will be “Old World” in style because of the cooler temperatures and cloudier days. It is lower in alcohol with some bright acidity.

Winemaking

This is a selection of the best vineyard blocks of Boisseau Vineyard. Cabernet Franc was the star in 2014. We hand sort before destemming and then again afterwards to remove pink berries and stem pieces. 10% bleed. Pumped over averaging two times per day, with some punch downs later in fermentation. Post fermentation macerations make for a total cuvaison of 18 to 22 days. Malo in barrels. The wine was aged in new (20%) and slightly used French oak barrels for 21 months. Bottled August 2015. 37% Cabernet Franc, 25% Petit verdot, 21% Merlot, and 17% Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink through 2021. 176 cases produced. 13.7% alcohol.



Jim Law