2013 Cabernet Sauvignon
(100% Cabernet Sauvignon)
(80% Tranquility Vineyard, 20% Nevaeh Vineyard – Road Block)
$25.00 per bottle
A Cabernet of shocking depth. The wine starts off very forward on the nose with black current, cranberry, dill and toast characters. The palate is youthful, firm and still somewhat angular but does show great potential with stunning fruit and pleasant floral tones under the silky but abundant tannins and balancing acidity. This is a wine with the right pairing and aeration is great today, but will also reward 6-8 years in the cellar.
If drinking this young go with the classics with Cab. Enjoy this with some rare Beef tenderloin or Striploins either simply grilled or with a great green peppercorn brandy cream. Serve with some truffled mashed Yukon golds and creamed spinach. So Good!
This Cabernet Sauvignon is a selection of the barrels we felt showed the best varietal character while still showcasing the intrigue of the vintage.
The grapes were cold soaked for 9 days to get maximum extraction from the ripe skins prior to a fairly slow and cool fermentation on a combination of commercial and indigenous yeasts. The fermentations were in 1 ton open top bins for manual hand punch downs to keep elegance and not interrupt the seeds too much. The cooler ferment preserved some of the acidity and also allowed for an extremely aromatic Cabernet. The free run and press fraction were combined and the wine was immediately put to barrel. We did batonage by-weekly until the final blend was created after 4 months. The wine spent a total of 14 months in barrel and is due to be bottled February 2015 unfined and unfiltered.
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 with our vineyard manager Kevin Goolsby.
The Road Block is consistently the hottest part of the Nevaeh Vineyard. The hotter portions give more weight and riper fruit characters whereas the cooler portion brings balancing acidity and older world styled smoky and meaty characters. The Road Block is predominately Penn Silt Loam so causes slightly shallower root systems and more fruit forward wines.
The 2013 vintage will often be remembered as the year that took 5 off the end of every winemaker’s life span. In the end, it all came together with a brilliant harvest time, but leading up was constantly scary. The wines show great vibrancy and finesse with the early ripeners shining like Chardonnay and Merlot. There was some struggle with the later ripeners getting them fully mature.
The season started very late with a very cold and wet spring. We did not see bud break until the start of May which is unheard of. Everyone thought it was a blessing in disguise and that at least we wouldn’t have to worry about frost. We were wrong. We had the latest frost I remember on May 14th and while it did not do tons of damage, it did weaken the vines going into the season. The rest of the summer season we unseasonably wet and cool so we knew we would have trouble ripening the late riperners and had to get all the canopies wide open and drop fruit. In the end dropping fruit came back to bite us as the frost and cold weather forced the vines to start aborting some fruit as well. It also forced the worse animal damage (birds, raccoons, etc.) that we have seen because their nature food sources in the forests were wiped out from the tough year.
The sun came out close to the end of August and stayed through the picking season which was great. It allowed us to be patient and harvest some superb fruit with incredible balance. I the end we quite like what we have from 2013, but the downfall is it is the smallest harvest on record, by far.