This is a wine we cannot make every year. It takes a special vintage like 2017 or 2019 for us to be able to ripen Cabernet Sauvignon to the point where we are excited to do a varietal bottling. There are sites in Virginia that lend themselves to the grape, but where we farm, we find Merlot and Cabernet Franc to be more consistently ripe and concentrated. That said, when you get Cabernet Sauvignon like we did in 2019, you have to bottle it. I will note that we are still working with blending, using the other Bordeaux varieties, so it leans a bit closer in philosophy to Left Bank wines. However, it is quintessentially Cabernet, with the aroma, power and structure the grape is known for, and the other grapes are playing supporting roles, helping to draw out and emphasize the qualities we love in a proper Cabernet Sauvignon.
Aged for 15 months in French barrique, 40% new.
2019 was an excellent vintage with balanced whites and reds with ripe intensity and richness. The season began early, with picking for sparkling at the very beginning of August, resulting from a moderately early budbreak. While this notably early start to the vintage was psychologically challenging, the fruit was well-balanced and we’re excited to see how it develops in the cellar.
It is understandable to compare 2019 to 2017, however yields were more typical and balanced in 2019, compared to high yielding 2017. We were able to apply the learnings from the very ripe 2017 vintage to our farming and picking decisions in 2019, which often led us to pick blocks earlier; and rather than simply pursuing sugar ripeness, we have been able to farm and pick based on phenological ripeness and aromatic complexity.