This is our third Quaker Run Tannat bottling. While we use most of the Quaker Run Tannat for blending purposes, we continue to bottle a small amount to show what this singular grape variety can do at Quaker Run.
We consider our approach to Tannat in the cellar as ever evolving. It is a variety that produces wines with high alcohol, richness and aromatic intensity, and can certainly stand up to large amounts of oak. However, with such a “beast” of a wine, often comes the inclination to lean into the extremes. With the Quaker Run Tannat, we have always looked to embrace some of the often-overlooked varietal nuances and lead with dynamic aromas, which are highlighted by the inherent power of the grape.
With this bottling, we have begun relying less on new wood barrels, but rather utilizing larger and older oak barrels, tempering the wine’s oak extraction. With this aging, we have found the wine prefers additional time in barrel, developing broader secondary and tertiary attributes.
After a spring with significant frost impact, the first half of the growing season was relatively dry and quite hot in June and July. Late July and early August brought a lot of moisture that was very challenging, but things dried out a bit heading into harvest. We ended up in a dance with the Atlantic, as tropical systems waltzed through every ten days for two months. Once again, we were lucky to be spared the worst of the weather, and we emerged at the end of harvest with a cellar full of high quality 2020 wines. In the spirit of every vintage being different than every other in our state, 2020 was unique in that the first half produced lighter wines with high acid and the second half brought riper, more classic wines.