2017 Shenandoah Springs Cabernet Franc
Variety: 100% Cabernet Franc
Winemaker Note: With the 2017 vintage, this bottling is one of four 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. 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. In 2017 all of our reds were riper, with more richness than usual, and the Shenandoah Springs is the most extreme example. Though this vineyard is usually an exercise in perfume and restraint, a smallish crop combined with a very long and warm ripening period make this the most powerful Cabernet Franc we have bottled.
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 favor the aromatic potential of the grape over the flavor of the barrel. Though the 2017 vintage brought deep ripeness and power, we stayed true to our approach, and the result is a wine that brings purity to the dense black fruit of the vintage with plenty of plum, black cherry and graphite. While ripe and rich, the wine is also wound tight around the tannic structure, making it slow to show its true character and hungry for oxygen. Once open, the density of the wine makes for impact and length, carrying the flavors and tannin through the finish.
Cellaring: This wine should continue to develop over the next seven to ten years.