Last Tasted, July 21, 2014 - This wine is definitely still a baby. The aromatics certainly open and mature with some air. The wine started off quite closed with more primary fruit character showing raspberry, cranberry and violets. As the wine opened up over the course of 1.5 hours the nose started to show some more complexity with some stewed fruit, cedar and earthy notes. The palate is still quite aggressive with firm tannins and great balancing acidity. It all sits on a medium bodies frame with similar fruit to the nose. This bodes well with the fruit and structure balance to say this wine will continue to age gracefully for quite some time. It was enjoyed with a killer Steak, Gruyere and Mushroom Pie from Dangerously Delicious Pies in Balitmore and it was great. That said given the current structure it would have been even better with some simple grilled Delmonicos (as rare as you are willing to eat it) to soften the tannins. Overall, if you stilll have some of this wine, there is still no rush. If you wnat to drink it now we recommend at least a one hour decant and some big meats.
||September 27 - October 11, 2007
||23.9 avg brix
||18 months - American oak
||Third use American oak
||New American oak
||Second use American oak
||Neutral American oak
||BM45 Yeast - Stainless Steel
||August 18, 2009
The appearance shows medium intensity with a violet core and showing ruby to the rim. The wine has an intense nose of pencil shavings, cranberries, and rose petals. On the palate the wine is medium to full bodies showing firm, but velvety tannins and a balanced acidity showing raspberry, cranberry and cedar dust characteristics. The wood driven finish is long and harmonious with a little warmth.
The fruit for our Cabernet Franc come from two of our three vineyards on site: The Hill, and The Road. Our Hill vineyard has a south facing exposure and the deepest soils. This allows for good root growth and the best potential sunlight exposure. There is also good air flow to minimize disease pressure. The Hill vineyard tends to mature the most evenly of the three vineyards with well rounded fruit character and firm tannins and darker color. The Road vineyard is flatter with shallower soil. This allowed the roots to collect lots of early soil moisture. In dry years the Road vineyard usually ripens first and gives lovely herbal tones that add complexity to the final blend. The Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc are trained on Vertical Shoot Positioning and have rigorous leaf pulling to allow no shading of the fruit. The grapes also go through green harvesting where the last potentially 30-40% of the fruit that start changing color at veraison (the stage at which the red grapes start changing color) are removed in order to leave us only with the best fruit of the year to help reach optimal and uniformed maturity.
A portion (30%) of the Cabernet Franc in 2007 came from a vineyard in Waterford, Loudoun, Virginia. This vineyard is known for its relatively deep clay soils that impede very deep root growth. It is a fairly flat vineyard and creates fruit with a spicey and herbal character and firm tannins as well as a deep violet color that helps add complexity and structure to our blend.
The 2007 Vintage may have been the best on record for all of Virginia. It was definitely the best on record for Tarara. Drought-Like conditions with a couple well timed rain falls through the growing season and early cool weather kept the crop very low. This natural thinning created far better structure and development in the fruit remaining. The small bunches due to the drought meant less yield per ton of fruit, approximately 55hl/ton (145 gallons/ton). This also meant concentrated flavor and acid development. The fruit ripened early making it difficult to process due to the extreme heat. This meant flash chilling the fruit to preserve acidity and to not allow color extraction during pressing. This was done with success. The grapes were harvested in the early morning as soon as all dew had dried to ensure premium integrity to the fruit by harvesting as cool as possible. The harvest period saw no rainfall. There was a mild rain on September 1st and then stayed sunny and clear until October 19th (the day after our last harvest). A perfect vintage!!!!
The fruit destined for Cabernet Franc goes through double sorting. The fruit is first sorted in the vineyard as it is being picked to leave behind any less then ideal bunches. At the winery it is then sorted again before being crushed and destemmed by the winemaker and the assistant winemaker. About 25% of the fruit was crushed and the other half left as whole berries but all were destemmed. We allow a stronger portion of whole berries in our Cabernet Franc to try to accentuate the fruit characters to balance with the sometimes herbaceous trademark of many Cabernet Franc. The must went through a 7 day cold soak (32 degrees) prior to fermentation to extract as much flavor, color and structure from the skins as possible prior to the presence of alcohol. The fermentation was done with commercial yeasts and was allowed to reach temperatures as high as 81 degrees from maximum extraction and to create a richer mouthfeel. The grapes spent a total of 25 days on average on their skins. The wine was racked twice before going to barrel and left in oak for 15 months before being coarsely filtered and bottled. There was no fining done on this wine.
The 2007 Cabernet Franc would be a lovely match with Grilled Veal Chops marinated Cabernet Franc and topped with a cranberry and red cabbage relish. The wine would also suit many hearty vegetarian dishes such as Pasta Primavera in a Tomato based sauce, or Eggplant Parmigiana.