From the Winemaker/Vineyard Manager, Tim
In the Winery
All the 2012 grapes have been picked and pressed. This harvest was far less rainy than last year’s, and for that I am grateful. Last year the cabernet franc grapes took the brunt of the abuse from the weather. Fortunately this year’s franc came to the crush pad in great shape with excellent potential, and the wines made from them are already showing well.
Both the 2012 Green and Nouveau Red were bottled in November, and have been released for sale. The Nouveau Red is 100% Cabernet Franc made using carbonic maceration, just like Beaujolais Nouveau. It has juicy fruit and pomegranate flavors and surprising depth and strength for a young red. There are just a few cases left so get it now before its gone. I am very pleased with the 2012 Green. This is the second “Green” we’ve bottled. It is simply a 50/50 combination of Chardonnay and Petit Manseng, but there’s nothing simple about the result. The wine has jaw-dropping aroma, a mouthful of fruit, and a deceptively dry finish. I am anxious for feedback on this wine, especially from Sauvignon Blanc lovers.
We have also bottled the 2011 Union. This year’s blend is Petit Verdot, Tannat, and Cabernet Franc. Still young, this wine already has a likeable earthen quality and a pleasant mocha component. Currently, this wine is only available for our Coop members (see below for details), but we expect to release it to all of our customers in early 2013.
Speaking of reds, 2013 will see the return of a customer favorite, the co-fermented Cab.F + Vio.! So far I am loving this wine in barrel. I expect to bottle this in the spring.
You will also see, well taste, other favorites like the A6 and Quattro, Clay Hill Cabernet Franc, and Union from the 2012 vintage.
I am also working on some truly unique wines that may or may not ever be bottled. This is one of my favorite aspects of winemaking; experimenting and exploring options in the winemaking process. Some of these “trial” wines may make it to the tasting room on occasion for some consumer input, so if you are interested in becoming a tester, be sure to like us on Facebook; we’ll post updates as to days we’ll have samples available. And please: be honest, but gentle.
In the Vineyard
The Cardinal Point vineyard is in fine shape. The newest planting of Petit Verdot will start producing a significant crop next year, as will newer blocks of Riesling and Viognier. I love being out in the vineyard anyway, but it is a lot more fun tending the vines when they are hanging a good crop.
And from the Winemaker's Sister ~
In and Out of the Tasting Room
Another successful Tins4Tunes summer concert series, at which we collected hundreds of pounds of food for our local food pantry, was followed by a record breaking Oyster Roast in November. Thanks to all who came out to enjoy the gorgeous weekend weather, and the best oysters and crabcakes anywhere. Speaking of, the RR Oyster boys have just opened a new restaurant in Richmond: Rappahannock Restaurant, on East Grace Street. Make a reservation and like them on Facebook!
Our big news in the Tasting Room is the launch of the new Cardinal Point Wine Cooperative. We’ve covered details in a prior email, so we won’t repeat here, but if you are interested, check out all of the benefits at www.cardinalpointwinery.com/wineclub.php. If tasting some of Tim’s “prototype” wines he mentions above seems interesting, we’re planning an event for Coop members only at which Tim will be pulling these and other wines out of tank and barrel for sampling.