2018 Madison County Cabernet Franc
Variety: 97% Cabernet Franc, 2% Merlot, 1% Petit Manseng
Winemaker Note: With the 2017 vintage, this bottling is one of four expressions of Cabernet Franc that we produced. We believe this grape is reflective of place and transparent of site when handled appropriately, and we are offering both regional and vineyard specific bottlings to highlight these expressions. In 2015 and 2016 our sole Cabernet Franc bottling was the Shenandoah Valley, but in 2017 our newer plantings at Quaker Run and at the winery gave us enough compelling material to make a Madison County wine. We hope to make the Shenandoah Valley and Madison County part of the core of what we do and bottle vineyard specific wines when the vintage and vineyard warrant.
Aging: Aged without racking for 10 months in a combination of 500, 300, and 225 L oak casks, a mixture of French and northern European, 25% new, with toast ranging from light to medium to favor fruit over char.
Wine description: We like to say our approach to Cabernet Franc is more Burgundy than Bordeaux, meaning we look for silky rather than tannic structure and favor the aromatic potential of the grape over the flavor of the barrel. With the Madison County fruit, we are dealing with a bit more warmth in the summer into September, and 2017 was our highest ripeness year since we started. The result is more richness and concentration than we normally find in our Cabernet Franc, but still with the softer tannins that we expect from our approach to the grape. Aromatically, the herbal character is buffered by dark, ripe fruits which continue into the flavors. The tannins are quite ripe and less rustic than usual, making for a soft but persistent finish.
Food pairing: Pairs beautifully with traditional Cab Franc pairings of roast lamb and fuller flavor meats, but with its silken texture and savory notes bridges to lighter dishes with umami notes.