Blend: 31% Merlot, 28% Cabernet Franc, 17% Syrah, 11% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, 3% Petit Manseng, 1% Tannat
Winemaker Note: When I am asked to name my favorite wine we make, I always dodge that question and talk about the wines I most enjoy making. These days I have the most fun making the multiple variety blends like Five Forks and Foothills. Part of the reason is that both wines are made from vineyard blocks that produce fruit that stands in contrast to how we are told red wine or white wine should be, and that’s refreshing. Also, as someone who does not have unlimited resources, these wines are closest to the price range where I normally drink wine; self interest makes the stakes higher. In general we fashion this wine to be fresh and nimble, and while that was important to our blending of the 2017, we also realized that vintage was going to speak its mind no matter what. And it did. The vintage almost overtakes the style here, with deep ripeness, but the verve-y, fresh fruit stands its ground and and maintains its Foothills-ness. 2017 walks with a different gait than we are used to, but that’s why we love making wine in Virginia.
Description: In 2017 Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah work as a trio in the Foothills. Across all grape varieties we had higher ripeness in 2017, and the result is darker fruit, more structure, and richness cloaking the inherent charm of the fruit from these blocks. Once again we use a small addition of Petit Manseng to bring juiciness and cohesiveness to the aromas. While we don’t generally make a cellaring recommendation with Foothills, we bottle it in screwcap to encourage you to open it, but the concentration of the vintage makes this one of those wines that we can surprise ourselves with in five or so years.