Domaine Finot "Turk Mountain Vineyards" Cabernet Franc 2021


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Alcohol: 12.7%

Grape(s): Cabernet Franc

Localization: Monticello, Virginia, USA

Tasting Notes: Light bodied with a focused, linear structure, this Cabernet Franc opens with delicate red fruit aromas. On the palate, these fruit characteristics are balanced with pronounced savory notes of white pepper and tea leaves. The wine’s fine grained tannins compliment a refreshing acidity. While enjoyable now, this bottling promises to reward a few years time spent in the cellar. 

Notes: From the head winemaker at King Family Vineyards, this wine comes from fruit just down the road in Nelson County at a family owned 5 acre vineyard.

The Domain: In Virginia, Cabernet Franc can be made in a range of styles. This bottling was produced using whole cluster fermentation to extract tannin and provide a savory component to the wine. The Cabernet Francs of the Loire Valley are a source of inspiration, but this wine is uniquely and definitely Virginian. True to the “garagiste” principles of employing simple winemaking techniques, no destemmer was used, there was no addition of SO2, the fermentation was limited to the use of natural yeast, and only the most limited intervention was applied between grape and bottle. This style fits not only Gilbert’s original focus, but fits with Domaine Finot’s philosophy as well.

Matthieu Finot arrived in the United States from his native France in 2003, the same year that fellow Frenchman, Gilbert Tallard, established his five acres vineyards in Afton, Virginia. What started as a friendship between two compatriots, has grown over time with a mutual passion for wine and a complimentary exchange of expertise and knowledge between them. The grapes from Turk Mountain Vineyards have been sold from the beginning to local wineries such as King Family Vineyards and Gabriele Rausse Winery, however Gilbert has also been producing “garagiste” wine since 2006 under his own Turk Mountain Vineyards label. 

Starting in 2016, Matthieu has been managing the vineyard, with the goal of crafting wines that reflect their terroir and the beauty of classically simple winemaking techniques, thus carrying on the inspiration of Gilbert’s initial philosophy. After a few years of experimentation, Matthieu’s inaugural vintage, 2019, was bottled under the Domaine Finot / Turk Mountain Vineyards label.

The name “Domaine Finot” is associated with Matthieu’s family vineyards in France. Spearheaded by his brother, Thomas, Domaine Finot was established in the French Alps in 2008 and has since expanded to include production from the Finot family’s land in the Northern Rhone Valley. Including Virginia wines under the Finot family’s label was the natural next step, representing the family’s bi-national viticultural passions.