In 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 general we look to the valley for finesse, aromatic density and silken texture, but the wines tend to deepen as we move north, as it is slightly lower elevation and one of the driest parts of the East Coast. In 2020 all of our reds were more elegant, with a greater emphasis on aromatics than usual.
The growing season in Virginia was dynamic to say the least, adding to the chaotic nature of the year as a whole. Despite an early budbreak followed by frost risk in late April and early May, Early Mountain was lucky to avoid the worst of it with only a Petit Manseng block and some lower areas of Chardonnay impacted.
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.