2020 Madison County Cabernet Franc
Variety: 85% Cabernet Franc, 7% Petit Mansneg, 6% Petit Verdot, 2% Merlot
Winemaker Note: With the 2020 vintage, this bottling is one of five 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 8 months in a combination of 500, 300, and 225 L oak barrels, a mixture of French and northern European wood, 10% new with toast ranging from light to medium, which allows for greater fruit expression over oak impact.
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 favour the aromatic potential of the grape over the flavor of the barrel. In 2020 we used this approach on Cabernet Franc, embracing the aromatic complexity of the fruit and with the Madison County Cabernet Franc highlighting a fresher representation of the varietal. We also found that we could heighten the “Franc-ness” of the 2020 with some creative blending. We have always enjoyed using Petit Manseng to help refine and punctuate Cabernet Franc’s aromatics, and Petit Verdot brings some of the color and structure that drops down when using whites in red blending.
The result is bright red berries and stone fruit, complemented by savoury herbs and dried citrus. The vibrancy of boysenberry, raspberry, plum and orange marmalade are accented by chervil, alfalfa and white pepper. The tannins are elegant and round, with the pallet medium bodied and lively. This wine benefits from serving at slightly cooler temperatures.