2016 Shenandoah Valley Cabernet Franc
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. The result is a wine with ripe fruit framing classical Franc herbal notes that has richness without feeling heavy.
This is our first vintage of the Shenandoah Valley Cabernet Franc, a wine that we will produce in successive vintages, along with Cabernet Franc(s) from our vineyards in Madison County. Separate bottlings allow us to see how this grape behaves in the different regions, as we believe Cab Franc is a grape that is reflective of place and transparent of site when handled appropriately, and we will eventually expand the program to include vineyard specific bottlings. In general we look to the valley for finesse, aromatic density and silken texture. With higher elevations, cooler days and nights, and a shorter growing season, the wines are less about brute strength and well suited to showing detail.
Food pairing: Every year we find ourselves the most excited by food that challenges the dishes that we think of as classical wine pairings. This obviously makes wine pairing more challenging, but we also find ourselves making wines that are more open to the diversity of flavors, spice, and warmth that define our meals today. This Cabernet Franc is one of those wines. By playing on subtlety and texture, it is more open to a variety of foods. The fruit/herb/sauvage trio of flavors serves to compliment the umami/heat/flavor party that has become more rule than exception.
Cellaring: This wine has already entered its drinking window and should continue to develop over the next five to seven years.