This is a very classic styled Cabernet Franc and is simply all about site, vintage and picking decisions. This wine has perfect ripeness showing incredible fruit, medium weight and firm structure as Cabernet Franc should be and the 2012 tell-tale acidity. Once picked, it was all about standing back and letting this wine make itself.
||October 6-25, 2012
||22.9 avg brix
||Virginia Oak - 15 months
||Neutral Virginia oak
||New Virginia Oak
||Third use Virginia oak
||Second use Virginia Oak
||February 16, 2014
A deep ruby colored Cab Franc with classic varietal character while also showing the power and complexity of the Nevaeh Vineyard and the austerity of the Carter Mountain Vineyard. The aromatics are intense showing ripe raspberry, red currant, mint and floral notes. That palate is quite youthful with fresh acidity and abundant but well integrated silky tannins holding together the smoky and fresh berry notes leading to a long finish. While a pleasure to enjoy today we expect this wine will age gracefully until 2022.
88 - Wine Enthusiast - Ripe and fragrant, this offers delineated
scents of cherry pie filling, raspberry,
rose and dillweed. It’s lithe and succulent,
with polished lines and plenty of charm.
The fruit for the Cabernet Franc 2012 came from Nevaeh Vineyard Hill Block (80%) and a vineyard we source from on Carter Mountain in the Monticello AVA (20%)
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 Carter Mountain vineyard that we source the Cabernet Franc from is a rolling higher elevation site. The Cabernet Franc is the highest elevation block of the vineyard with some shallower soils with more granite subsoil’s. This leads to better drainage and a bit more complexity in the wines.
The 2012 is said to be one of winemaker Jordan Harris’ favorite vintages to date. While some vineyard around the state did suffer from a little too much rain at harvest, many of the sites that Tarara works with really got away lucky. Nevaeh in particular with the small rain shadow of the Catoctins and the weather patterns that follow the Potomac really meant that Nevaeh didn’t receive any rain through the 2012 harvest season. It only benefited from the slightly lower resulting temperatures of nearby rains and the lack of humidity.
In the end the 2012 season was about having some of the best balanced wines we have seen to date. The season started very early with an almost alarmingly warm and early spring causing bud-break in late March. It stayed warm so there were no significant frost issues that we were worried about. After that the summer never really heated up too much with the exception of the last two weeks of July and the first week of August. All together that put the harvest back on normal schedule which was superb since a worry had to harvest in the heat of the summer. The prolonged and generally mild season resulted in vibrant acidity, massive flavor concentration, moderate alcohol and beautifully ripe tannins. An overall very well balanced year unlike any we have seen in a long time.
The Cabernet Franc from 2012 was destemmed, but not 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 14 days. The wine enjoyed another 10 days extended skin maceration totaling 32 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 7 months (total of 12 months). The wine was racked out of barrel and bottled unfined and unfiltered.
This wine pairs great with Fields of Athenry Lamb Shanks braised in a minted, San Marzano and Cabernet Franc broth over Chapel Country Creamery cheddar polenta.