pronounced (Tee Ruth)
57% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Franc, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon
Located on a western slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains, between 1100 and 1300 feet above sea level. This planting consists of 10 acres of 5- to 18-year-old vines, growing in deep, steep and well drained rocky soils. The older plantings range from a vine density of 454 to 908 vines per acre, and the newer plantings are at a vine density of 1361 vines to the acre. The vines are cane pruned and trained to both the Open Lyre and Double Guyot systems.
2012 was an excellent year for growing grapes in Virginia. It was reminiscent of the stellar 2009 vintage. Bud break occurred very early, around the last couple days of March. Flowering was also early, at the end of May. Summer temperatures were normal, with some hot days and some cool ones. Rainfall was rather low for most of the summer, turning very dry in August just before harvest. A couple of minor rain events occurred in late August and early September but after these rains past, the rest of harvest was beautifully dry, sunny and warm during the days and very cool and crisp during the night time hours. Harvest began in late September and lasted through the middle of October.
The grapes were hand harvested and chilled overnight. A triple sorting, (at picking in the vineyard, and on the crush pad, pre and post destemming) was performed and the berries were destemmed without crushing. The whole berries filled small one-ton fermenters and then cold soaked for 4 days. Moved into the fermentation room, the bins were warmed to 60ºF and inoculated with yeast. Fermentation temperatures reached into the mid-80s and lasted about 7 to 10 days with 2 cap punch downs each day. ML fermentation began in the bins after primary fermentation was complete. After additional maceration time of from two to three weeks, the wine was pressed off, allowed to settle overnight and then racked into new and older French oak barrels where ML fermentation completed. The wines rested for five months before this blend was assembled during the summer of 2013. This wine was bottled unfiltered and unfined in February 2014, producing 350 cases.
Drink now and will improve through 2020.