2010 Unrefined Red
(31% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Petit Verdot, 21% Merlot, 11% Tannat, 11% Cabernet Franc, 5% Pinotage)
$15.00 per bottle
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Production: 480 Cases of 12 bottles
The making of the Inaugural Boneyard Red was all about taking rules out of the equation and crafting a wine that is downright delicious and not decided by varietal correctness or even terroir just like the white. Simply put this wine represents the 2010 vintage by being huge, juicy and complex. This dark ruby red wine has massive aromatics of red and dark berry fruit, plum and some of Tranquility vineyard’s telltale wet leaf characteristics. Each swirl and sniff brings something else intriguing to the nose. The palate is rich and very young. Full bodies, loads of fruit, some great earthy tones and cedar held together by big, but velvety tannins and balanced acidity. This wine is downright delicious, but is best decanted today or let it cellar until 2018 to integrate more and gain added complexity. Easily the best value wine we have ever released.
The fruit for this wine came from a blend of Nevaeh, Honah Lee and Tranquility vineyards.
The Cabernet Sauvignon and some of the Tannat came from Tranquility. 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 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. Now Tranquility Vineyard is being leased entirely by Tarara Winery with Ben still managing.
The Merlot and Cabernet Franc came from Nevaeh’s Hill Block. The Hill Block of Nevaeh 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. 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 Petit Verdot, Pinotage and some of the Tannat came from Honah Lee Vineyard. The Honah Lee Vineyard is a steep South East facing slope sitting at about 1300 feet elevation in the mountains just outside Orange, VA. The soils consist of hard red clay leading to more fruit driven wines. The wines tend to get very exotic characters to them while maintaining a balance of acidity due to their great sunlight exposure, as well as the cooler nights from the elevation. The vines are all trained on cordon pruned vertical shoot positioning to best collect sunlight exposure and minimize pressures.
The 2010 vintage simply put was hot and dry. With LoudounCounty 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.
This wine was originally made with the intention of the individual parts being destined for the single vineyard wines of Nevaeh, Tranquility and Honah Lee. Then we decided to make the Boneyard series and created this intense blend of the vineyards taking rules out of the equation. The grape enjoyed long cold soaks up to 10 days and warm fermentations with pulses (we use pulse air instead of pump-overs and punch downs which is simply turning the cap over with air bubbles) twice to three times daily and extended macerations up to 37 days total on the skins. The wine was then racked into barrel for malo-lactic fermentation and racked ever 6 months until it was blended and bottled unfined and unfiltered in March 2012 after a 16 month barrel elevage.
This wine is big and intense and needs that from a food as well. I love this wine with Slow Roasted Mill Creek farm Beef Chuck Pot Roast over buttered Egg Noodles and caramelized Brussel sprouts. It would also be pretty awesome with many assorted meat, especially game if you can get some like Elk, Venison or Bison. Since it can be used as an everyday wine, also try it with some juicy burgers with sautéed wild mushrooms and Gruyere cheese.