||October 1-23, 2010
||26.1 avg brix
||18 months New Virginia Oak
||New Virginia Oak
||Indigenous Yeast - Stainless Steel
||August 21, 2012
This saturated crimson colored wine shows all the hallmarks of this vintage and vineyard. Intense aromas of black cherry, cedar, cassis and that lovely scent of wet leaves in the autumn. The palate is still very tight with firm tannins and balanced acidity wrapped around a ball of ripe blackberry and currant characters leading to a long and smoky finish. If enjoying today some decanting is recommended to allow the wine to unwind slightly, but it will also reward patience and drink beautifully for 10 years easy.
Tranquility Vineyard is a seven acre vineyard planted in 1999 by its owners: Al and Mary Taylor. Set in the rolling hills of the Virginia Piedmont, the vineyard sits at about 510 feet above sea level. The original planting included 4 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, followed by one acre of Tannat in 2005. The final planting was about 1 and 3/4 acres of Pinot Gris in 2007. The soils are primarily comprised of "Pennsylvania Silt Loam", are very nutritionally rich and very rocky as well. The majority of the rows run in a North/South direction, with just one acre that runs East/West. Tannat, Pinot Gris and half of the Cabernet Sauvignon use a Vertical Shoot Trellis system, while the other half of the Cabernet Sauvignon is on a modified "Smart Dyson" system. The fall of the land is outstanding for both air and water drainage, making it a great location for a vineyard. The grapes have never been irrigated and thus have very deep roots, making them more drought resistant.
The Cabernet and Tannat have gained the most attention in the last 5 years, being sold to wineries that have produced award winning wines from them, thus putting them in high demand. In 2005 Ben Renshaw took over the management of the vineyard and has maintained it ever since. Now Tranquility Vineyard is being leased entirely by Tarara Winery with Ben still managing.
The 2010 vintage simply put was hot and dry. With Loudoun County and Monticello receiving really no recordable precipitation from May until October we knew that berry weights were going to be down significantly. This is the result of less water in the fruit and therefore creates more intense concentration. That coupled with the record breaking heat that we received (many 100+ days) the fruit in 2010 is exotic, rich, fruit driven and powerful. The sugars far outpaced the ripening of flavors, phenolic ripeness and acidity ripeness so one should expect higher alcohols then in any other vintage in Virginia, which should be well balanced still by the intensity of fruit and pure power of the wines.
Even though the season was uncharacteristically hot and dry, there was also very low humidity which was a nice change for us in Loudoun and most of Virginia. This caused some of the healthiest vines we have seen and the least hands on work that was needed. The Winter leading up to the growing season saw record snow falls which left the soil with the moisture needed to help maintain health without the need of any irrigation, while still not being abundant and causing any dilution issues. The crop was incredibly small with even less yield from the fruit meaning that the 2010’s will not be in large supply, although they are expected to be in large demand.
While the 2010’s might not be the best expression of our terroir in general, the wines are of a different style that many will find very enjoyable. These wines are about extraction, richness, exuberant fruit, and exotic character, as apposed to our normal elegant yet powerful styles that most of our vineyards offer.
The Tranquility Red is a selection of the barrels that most represent this great site. The wine is aged in exclusively New Virginia Oak after fermentation on indigenous yeast. The grapes were all cold soaked for up to 8 days for good color, tannin and flavor extraction from the skins prior to the presence of alcohol. The fermentations were fairly quick and warm having their peak temperatures range anywhere from 82-92 degrees Fahrenheit. The total time the wine spent on the skins ranged from about 27 days to 29 days. The wines elevage in barrel was 18 months and was bottled unfined and unfiltered.
This calls for some hearty winter fare. I simply can’t wait to decant this in the winter and sip with some Millcreek Pot Roast with Caramelized Brussels Sprouts, Shiitake Sautee and Potatoes Anna.