An opaque blackish purple wine with loads of intensity. The nose is massive with rose petal, plum, blackberry and gravelly tones. The full bodied palate stays rich with firm but velvety tannins, balanced acidity, and gobs of fruit and wood spice and a long fruit driven finish. Our biggest wine ever made at Tarara? This wine is built for the cellar. Although great now it could easily be forgotten for 8-12 years.
This massive wine needs something equally rich and exciting. Try with Soy and Sesame marinated Millcreek Farms Hanger Steak served over garlic smashed Yukon gold potatoes and roasted heirloom squash and Farmer John’s beets.
Terra nova literally translates to “new land” and this wine embraces Loudoun County’s terroir. Old world varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Tannat are planted and farmed so as to showcase Loudoun County’s soil and climate. In the cellar, a minimalist approach is taken to preserve the unique characteristics of the fruit. This wine is a blend of the best barrels of our Tranquility Vineyard wines from Purcellville.
Tranquility Vineyard is a seven acre vineyard planted in 1999 by it's owners: Al and Mary Taylor. Set in the rolling hills of the Virginia Piedmont, the vineyard sits at about 510 feet above sealevel. The original planting included 4 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, followed by one acre of Tannat in 2005. The final planting was about 1and 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 than
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. Starting with the 2011 season, the Tranquility Vineyard is being leased entirely by Tarara Winery.
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 Commonwealth TerraNoVA is created through selecting three of our new Virginia Oak barrels from our Tranquility Vineyard wines. The grapes were cold soaked for 7 days for good color, tannin and flavor extraction from the skins prior to the presence of alcohol. The fermentation was fairly quick and warm having it’s peak temperature range at 92 degrees Fahrenheit. The total time the wine spent on the skins was 31 days. The wine was in barrel for 18-20 months and bottled unfined and unfiltered.
(Tannat 100%) (100% Tranquility Vineyard)
Date Harvested: September 16, 2010
Brix at Harvest: 27.5
T.A.: 6.01 g/l – 0.601%