2009 Long-Bomb Edition Three
The Long Bomb Edition Three would work well in place of a lot of Pinot’s or Sangiovese based wines like Chianti. The bright acidity and vibrant fresh fruit will help it pair beautifully with higher acidity dishes like a simple Pappardelle with a simple Farmer Johns Heirloom Tomato Sauce Primavera. It will also work nicely with Roasted Chicken marinated in Cilantro and Lime.
The fruit for the Long Bomb Edition 3 was harvest from Nevaeh and Mountainview vineyards. The Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon are from Tarara’s Nevaeh estate vineyards. They came from the Road and Hill blocks. The Road is a flatter sight which is harvested earlier to maintain freshness and pulls fruit forward character at an early stage while also adding some herbal complexity. The Hill vineyard is a south facing slope that creates most of Tarara’s best 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. The fruit from the Hill tends to be richer and more complex. The Merlot in the blend came from Mountainview Vineyards in Roanoke County. This is a “Mountain Vineyard” where the fruit is at over 1300 feet elevation
Long Bomb was created in the same manner as our Reserve quality estate wines. All of the fruit was destemmed but was not crushed. This was to try to maximize the fruit characters of each variety and to create the best balance possible with the tannins. The must was then cold soaked for an average of six days prior to fermentation. After 12-18 hours, 5-15% of the juice was taken from each fermenter “Saignee Method” the help intensify the character of the remaining juice and enhance the color extraction and complexity. The fermentations lasted up to 18 days using both commercial and indigenous yeast. The wine was left on the skins for an average of 21 days (18 being the least and 24 the most). This is shorter than normal for many of our varieties in most years but we wanted to accentuate the fruit and pull the wine away from the greener seeds at an earlier time given the vintage. The wine was pressed to a maximum of 1 bar pressure to ensure a gentle pressing to not extract bitter characters from the seeds. The wine spent 18 months in American Oak. 84% of the oak was neutral and therefore is only used to allow small amounts of oxygen (micro-oxygenation) into the wine to help integrate the tannins and enhance the color. The wine went through 100% Malo-Lactic Fermentation. The wine was loosely filtered and then bottled on August 3, 2011.
The 2009 Vintage was full of challenges that left us with concern for many varieties. We were tested on our patience, faith in Mother Nature and our quest for quality. Most of the summer was cool and wet with the exception of August. There was a moist spring, drying up just in time for bloom to assure a healthy size crop. We were forced to strongly thin the crop to maximize ripeness later in the year by over 50% in several cases. Mid July gave us a nasty storm that dropped nickel size hail on our vineyard for 4-5 minutes and winds that severely damaged many shoots. The lowering in the crop was not all bad and the dry two weeks post the storm allowed for the fruit to dry up and not be plagued by rot. August was hot and dry allowing the fruit to enter the harvest period ripening at a better rate. Through September and October it was all about waiting for the best physiological ripeness of the grapes. At times deer and potential weather tempted us to harvest early, but we stayed on course and allowed the flavors to ripen beautifully. Overall the 2009 vintage gave us a really neat crop for Jon and me coming from Canada. It gave us fruit characteristic to what we were used to with ripe flavors at higher acidities and lower alcohols. The wines of 2009 will be marked by their elegance more so then their power.