Grape(s): 48% Merlot, 28% Petit Verdot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 4% Malbec
Localization: Monticello, Virginia, USA
Tasting Notes: Vibrant aromas of bright cherry, blackberry, and spices on the nose and palate. A smooth, tannic structure and rounded mouthfeel will allow this well-integrated wine to develop complex tertiary components with extended bottle aging.
Notes: Sorted before and after destemming, without crushing the grapes. Fermentation and maceration will last up to two months, followed by a gentle pressing to extract the wine. Malolactic conversion takes place in the barrel. The base wines are blended in April following the vintage. Aged for 18 months in 45% new French oak barriques.
The Domain: After moving to Charlottesville from Houston, Texas, in 1995, we purchased the original 327-acre farm in 1996. In late 1998, a young man named Tom Vandenberg knocked on our door and asked if he could lease ten acres for a vineyard. Sparked by his curiosity and research, we did our homework and soon hired a vineyard consultant. A nursery in California had a few extra vines, so six months of hard work later, our first eight acres of vines had been planted.
Initially, the plan was to simply sell the fruit, but in the interest of learning as much as possible, we decided to make wine with a portion of the harvest and sell the rest. 480 cases in 2000 became 1,050 cases by 2001, and it all sold! After a quick visit to California for ideas, we designed our winery on the back of a napkin and by October 1, 2002, opened our real, honest-to-goodness winery. Since then both the vineyard and the business have grown.