Spring 2021 Select Six

2019 Chardonnay

13.5% alc./vol.

100% French oak aged

Monticello AVA

Okay, we’re starting out with a repeat of a wine shipped last year, but this is evolving nicely. There’s a baked apple bouquet to the wine and initial flavor of butterscotch and toffee. (Hint: order some more now for next Fall!) It features nuanced oak but also an interesting finish of mineralogy and yeast-derived tones. There is a ton going on in this bottle which is appreciating with age. Pair with seafood, chicken/fowl, creamy mushroom dishes.

2020 Green

65% Chardonnay/ 35% Petit Manseng (co-fermented)

11.9% alc./vol.

Monticello AVA

We touted past vintages of Green as a thirst quenching, aromatic romancer of summer. This 2020 will still sate a parched palate, but the aroma is less tropical, dominated by the larger portion of Chardonnay than usual (we use what the vintage gives us!). Petit Manseng still offers plenty of zing on the finish, though. Maybe this vintage should move from the porch swing to the dinner table? It’ll pair great with sushi, big summer salads, and grilled chicken. Those missing the usual Green attributes should check out the next two wines…

2020 Frai Vidal

100% Vidal Blanc

11.2% alc./vol.

Monticello AVA

BRAND NEW!! This is the first straight Vidal Blanc bottled by Cardinal Point. The fruit comes from our friend, Jenny Rous’ vineyard, just south in Roseland, Virginia. Like all wines in our “Frai” series, this wine’s primary fermentation was stopped before all the sugar became alcohol. The idea is to bottle the freshness of a new wine. It’s semi-dry and features flavors of apple and pome fruit. The wine features complexity in mouthfeel and finish due to pre- and post-fermentation experimentation. It’s a little petulant, showing its youth. Definitely a drink for Summer evenings … and a cheese plate.

2020 St. Rosé

100% Cabernet Franc (featuring pre-fermentation stabulation)

10% alc./vol.

Monticello AVA

Yes, this wine is bubbly, and, no, it wasn’t intended. Here’s the story: Because of bit of trouble during bottling, this wine has partially re-fermented in the bottle… luckily to a pleasant degree. It’s better to be lucky than good? In this case, yes! This was an okay sip before bottling, but now it’s a crisp rosé with POP, literally. And at only 10% alcohol, we’re calling it ALL DAY Rosé. It’s fun, it’s lucky, and we’ll try to do it again, but it may be unrepeatable. On the bright side, we’re getting out more, Summer’s coming, and this serendipitous spritz is here to enjoy now.

2020 Rockfish Red

Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Tannat

12.6% alc./vol.

Monticello AVA

As always, the goal for this wine is a quaffable red. Formerly Rockfish Reds were all Cabernet Franc, short-vatted (to reduce tannins), but we started blending with Petit Verdot several vintages ago to increase flavor and interest. This vintage adds ripe Tannat to the mix as well. Yum! Like red fruit candy: cherries raspberries, and plums. Pair with red sauce pizza, burgers or any grilled beef, or a Netflix binge.

2019 Clay Hill Cabernet Franc

100% Cabernet Franc

12.0% alc./vol.

Monticello AVA

As always, this wine is made solely from fruit grown by Bill Pelton at Clay Hill Vineyard closer to Charlottesville. This vintage is still evolving in bottle, but features the bright fruit nose and spice finish of past vintages. Aged over a year in American barrels, the oak component is still mellowing. There’s an evident mocha tone. It’s drinking great now and would pair well with grilled marinated flank steak, but a year or two more in bottle will develop even more mouthfeel and interest.

2019 A6 | $30.00

So it’s been a minute since we’ve made a new A6 (2016?), but this is A NEW A6! As usual, this is a blend of Viognier and Chardonnay with the Viognier portion barreled and the Chardonnay kept in steel to achieve length on the finish. Unlike past A6’s, though, this Viognier was fermented like a red wine, with the skins and seeds in the fermenter (search: orange wine). This was to extract more of the fruit and white tannin from berries and build more depth and body in the wine. Mission accomplished! This complex wine is rich, oily, fruit-driven, and chewy. The wonderful Viognier tannins play well with the viscous mouthfeel. The wine is aggressive at first, but smooths out in the glass when French oak notes show and the Chardonnay finish lingers. Drink now or cellar this for many years. This wine will keep evolving.

2019 Aubaine | $24.00

It’s been much longer since we’ve released an Aubaine. Our last vintage was a 2004. I wonder how many co-op members recall that one? Aubaine, for those who don’t know, is a French synonym for Chardonnay. They actually have a LOT of words for this renowned grape, at least a page full of them. I chose Aubaine, pretty randomly, just to differentiate our oaked Chardonnay from our steel Chardonnay wines. Essentially, a Cardinal Point Aubaine is a steel fermented and aged Chardonnay that has not gone through a secondary malo-lactic ferment (typical in barrel). This one adheres to those rules. This wine was first stabulated (raw juice tickled for extra flavor/aroma/complexity prior to primary fermentation) and the result is Chablis-like: Firm acid and flinty mineral notes tie this clean and elegant steely wine together.

2019 Quattro | $20.00

Annually our best selling wine, 2019 was a super vintage as this Quattro shows. This is a blend of four varieties: Riesling, Gewurtzträminer, Traminette, and Viognier. The Riesling is the major character pushing lemon/citrus and honey flavors, the Gewurtzträminer and Traminette add spice and depth, with the Viognier lending a hint of apricot. There’s sweetness, and it’s enjoyable on its own but also pairs with many foods from sausages to spicy Thai cuisine.

2018 St. Rosé | $23.00

This Cabernet Franc-based rosé is drinking very well. We say Saint Rosé, but the “St.” stands for stabulation (see Aubaine) which adds layers of depth and much more interest to the bouquet. Great bottle for the Thanksgiving table. We saved the very last of this popular wine just for our Co-Op members. After this shipment, we are sold-out!

2020 Nouveau Red | $18.00

Our annual homage to Beaujolais nouveau, this one is mostly from the grape variety Tannat, with a little Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. It’s a little petulant with CO2 from having just completed carbonic maceration and fermentation. There’s a lot going on in this fresh, fruity seasonal wine. The Nouveau is meant to be drunk a little chilled and consumed early, but this one should last in the bottle for a while, too. The past few vintages are still tasting great and fresh. Tasting notes: Strawberries, raspberries, round, raw, natural.

2019 Cab F + Vio. | $32.00

We only make this during exceptional harvests. It started as a co-pigment fermentation experiment to see if more color could be extracted from the C. Franc fruit if tannic-laden Viognier berries were added to the vat. The color extracted tends to vary from vintage to vintage, but the resultant wine has become a team favorite. I think of it as elegant in structure like a red Burgundy, the queen of wine. This wine is a pretty garnet red with sweetness in the bouquet. It is fruity without being jammy. Has firm, present tannins in structure. This was barreled for a year in French oak. Try it now, or lay it down… this is another wine that will really improve in the cellar. Full disclosure, we made an obnoxiously small amount of this wine, so, if you like it, buy more now or it will be gone. Tasting notes: red fruit, berry fruit, hint of apricot, black peppercorn.

Lastly, thank you so much for continuing to support Cardinal Point. We are, like most of you, in uncharted waters— business-wise and everyday life-wise. We look forward to getting back to normal operations some day soon, but we feel so thankful for our great customers, friends, and co-op members who have complied with changing protocols to keep us all safe and still viable. We like what we do and hope to keep it up. I hope our wine gives you joy in return.

See you around the winery.

Tim Gorman, Winemaker and Vineyard Manager

LoveWorks at Cardinal Point

Questions? Concerns? Just let me know!

Brianna Saby, Co-op Relationship Manager | brianna@cardinalpointwinery.com