||October 18, 2010
||18 months - Virginia Oak
||New Virginia Oak
||Indigenous Yeast - Stainless Steel
||August 16, 2012
Just a truly massive and rich wine. The dark crimson colored wine has intense aromatics of ripe raspberry, cranberry, blueberry, cocoa and espresso beans that just engulf the senses. The palate is lush, full and velvety with loads of fruit and sweet cedar and coffee notes leading to a long mouth coating finish.
90 - Wine Enthusiast - Aromas of spicy cherry, mixed bramble fruit, flower and turmeric start out mild, but become explosive and rich as the wine sits in the glass. The powerhouse palate shows intense but finessed concentration, with succulent cherry, herb and cocoa flavors that are bound by chewy tannins. — A.H. (3/1/2013)
The Hill Block of Nevaeh vineyard is a south facing slope that creates most of Tarara’s richest fruit. The soils are deeper and there is better air movement coming from the closer proximity to the Potomac River. This helps the fruit enjoy a longer potential hang time in Loudoun’s warmer fall evenings. There are several limestone deposits that cut through the Hill block because of its close proximity to the river. The fruit from the Hill tends to be well structured and more complex showing a great combination of bright berry fruit and minerality.
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 Cabernet Franc from 2010 was destemmed, but crushed leaving whole berries going to the fermenter. The must was cold soaked for 8 days prior to the start of fermentation which then lasted 10 days. The wine enjoyed another 12 days extended skin maceration totaling 30 days on the skins due to the incredible ripe tannins. During the cold soak and the post fermentation maceration the wine was pulsed once per day using a Pulse-Air method (large bubbles) to turn over the cap. During fermentation it was pulses 2-3 times per day. The wine was pressed to 1.2 bars to a tank to settle before being racked to barrel for Malo-Lactic fermentation. The wine was racked and blended after five months and then put back in the same barrels for another 11 months (total of 16 months). The wine was racked out of barrel and bottled unfined and unfiltered.
This rich wine needs rich food. Think rare Millcreek Farm Roast Beef with a Blueberry reduction over scalloped potatoes and green beans almandine. That said, it is rich enough to match with some casual but delicious Bacon Cheeseburgers right off the grill while hanging with your buddies.