Avennia Cabernet Franc Champoux Vineyard is made from 100% Cabernet Franc.
This very limited bottling shows the compelling potential of Cabernet Franc from a top vineyard. Though it’s often used as a spice in Avennia's Bordeaux blends, this wine, from the legendary Champoux Vineyard, has its own unique character and complexity that convinced them to feature it alone.
“Featuring a dark garnet color, this year’s Cabernet Franc opens with dark red cherry, boysenberry, damp earth, winter mint, and hints of rose petal on the nose. The palate is weighty, full-bodied, and complex, with mulberry, tobacco leaf, earthy notes, and savory herbs, kept lively with bright acidity. One of the standouts of the vintage, this beauty can stay in the cellar another year or two, and be enjoyed over the following decade plus." - Chris Peterson, Winemaker
"From a cooler site in the Horse Heaven Hills and all varietal, the 2017 Cabernet Franc Champoux Vineyard has brilliant notes of crème de cassis, red plums, chocolate, spice, flowery incense, and cedarwood. Beautifully textured, medium to full-bodied, and balanced on the palate, it shows the elegance and purity of the vintage yet still packs plenty of opulence and texture. It’s one of the finest expressions of this variety I’ve tasted from Washington State. Drink this beauty any time over the coming 10-15 years.”
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2020), 96 pts
Monteagrelo Cabernet Franc has beautiful ruby red with purple highlights.
It displays aromas of ripe red berries with a nice wood smoke complexity, thanks to the aging in French oak barrels. The wine has a very good structure, but the tannins are still quite round and integrated.
Aged in French and American oak barrels for 15 months. No filtration and no fining.
The finish is very long and will allow the wine to be consumed with food, such as grilled meat or cheese.
"The pick of the Monteagrelo wines, at least for me, in 2016, this comes from Vista Flores and is a beautifully judged expression of a variety that has found a home in the Uco Valley. Leafy, fine and refreshing, with black cherry and graphite notes. 2019-26"
- Tim Atkin (Argentina Special Report 2018), 93 pts
"The Cabernet Franc that Bressia acquires in Vista Flores comes from a 15 year old vineyard (same one as the Syrah) planted on the area’s alluvial soils with a high percentage of sand. But 2016, one of the coldest ever in Mendoza, molded the fruit in a very different way, highlighting more herbal notes. For those unfriendly to herbal flavors, they may be excessive, but we like that there here at “Descorchados”, mainly because they’re accompanied with heaps of red fruit in a lightish body with crisp acidity."
- Descorchados, 92 pts
The Cabernet Sauvignon Casey’s Lakeview is similarly inky bluish/purple to the rim. Tasting like blood, this wine is dense and rich with lots of chocolate, espresso, earth and spice. It is deep, full-bodied, and again, a masculine style of wine that needs at least 4-5 years of cellaring and should keep for 25 or more years.
Lakeview Vineyard is the winery’s mid-block vineyard planted to a combination of clone 6 & 337 Cabernet Sauvignon on 101-14 rootstock. Excellent drainage from the rocky and chalky soils plus plenty of sunlight throughout the day produces wines of bold character with mouth filling flavors.
Organic farming methods are used to produce this Cabernet Sauvignon Casey's Lakeview vineyard. Vines are 17 years old. Ageing in French oak barrels (85% new) for 20 months, then 12 months in bottle prior to release. Non-filtered.
"The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Casey’s Lakeview is similarly inky bluish/purple to the rim. Tasting like blood, this wine is dense and rich with lots of chocolate, espresso, earth and spice. It is deep, full-bodied, and again, a masculine style of wine that needs at least 4-5 years of cellaring and should keep for 25 or more years."
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #222, December 2015), 95 pts
"Darker tonalities of fruit along with distinctly savory undertones are two of the signatures in the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Casey's Lakeview Vineyard. Rich, ample and powerful, the Casey's Lakeview offers notable richness to fill out its broad-shouldered frame. Hints of lavender and mint add nuance in a virile Cabernet Sauvignon that needs at least a few years to fully come together. - Antonio Galloni"
- Vinous (October 2015), 94 pts
Keermont Pondokrug Cabernet Franc is made from Cabernet Franc.
The Keermont Single Vineyard Series was created to high light the superb quality and individual character of the wines produced from certain vineyard parcels on the farm. These parcels have been registered as Single Vineyards with the South African Wine Industry Information & Systems NPC (SAWIS) and wines labelled as such may not contain wine made from any other vineyard. The production of each wine is therefore very limited. We do not bottle these wines every year.
This wine has a pink purple hue. Typical herbal aromas are complimented by strawberries and red candy. The palate is intense with bright red fruit flavors complimented by hints of sherbet, red peppers and black currant. The tannin structure is tight and grippy and a strong central acid core gives the wine a long powerful dry finish. Drink 2018-2030.
High up on the west-facing slopes of the Stellenbosch Mountain, this is a 1.81 Hectares (4.5 acres) parcel of Cabernet Franc planted in 2006. At an elevation of 380 meters above sea level and surrounded by mountain "fynbos", this block is exposed to many natural elements resulting in very low yields. The soil on Pondokrug is red granitic loam with a high clay content which sustains the vines during the summer months. These factors allows Keermont to produce an intense wine with unique flavors and a solid tannin structure.
All grapes used in producing our wines are grown on Keermont Vineyards. Small parcels of grapes are specifically selected according to ripeness, harvested by hand and vinified separately. This process is carried out gently and naturally in open top fermenters using traditional methods only. This wine spent 20 months maturing in seasoned French oak barrels before being bottled by hand without filtration.
"Sourced from the top two terraces of the vineyard up near the reservoir, this single parcel Cabernet Franc reveals good typicity and impressive depth of plum and dark cherry fruit. Creamy, lush texture on a full bodied palate with fine firm tannins. Matured 20 months in used French oak. The name means hut (pondok) on the ridge (rug) in Afrikaans."- International Wine Review (January 2019), 93 pts
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (August 2018), 91 pts
"The 2015 Keermont Cabernet Sauvignon comes from the Cottage Lane Vineyard, located at 300 meters above sea level. It was picked in small batches that underwent strict sorting and spent two to three weeks on the skins. It then matured for 22 months in 225-liter French oak barrels (10% to 15% new) before being bottled by hand without filtration. It has a tightly wound bouquet at first, presenting blackberry, bilberry, cedar and light damp undergrowth scents. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin and mint- and cedar-tinged black fruit on the entry, building toward a nicely structured, quite sappy finish. It doesn’t quite deliver the panache of its Syrah counterpart, but it is a fine Cabernet Sauvignon all the same. - Neal Martin"- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (August 2018), 91 pts
Laird Cabernet Sauvignon Flat Rock Ranch is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
Our Flat Rock Ranch vineyard is located near the north corner of where Yountville Cross Road meets Silverado Trail, on State Lane. This prized, complex fruit from the Yountville Appellation is a result of unique geological and meteorological conditions: volcanic soils similar to the adjacent Stags Leap District, but also display ancient coastal deposits, and sedimentary and alluvial soils that provide beneficial stress for our vines. Marine air currents from San Pablo Bay to the south are caught when they reach the “Yountville Mounts,” providing a natural cooling effect that balances warm, sunny days that ripen the rich tannins of our hallmark Cabernet Sauvignon to elegant distinction.
Tasting Notes: Bold violet-red color introduces a captivating bouquet of blueberries, tea leaf, and vanilla. This full-bodied wine has flavors of cassis, hazelnut and briary undertones with fresh acidity and chewy tannins on the palate.
"A focused and poised young cabernet with blackberry, blueberry and cherry aromas and flavors. Full body, velvety tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Shows depth and power. Better in 2019."
- James Suckling (December 2016), 93 pts
"The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Flat Rock Ranch, from another Yountville site, is softer than the Mast Ranch, with sweet tannin, dense purple color, plenty of crème de cassis, blackberry and blueberry. There is a nice floral element as well, and the wine finishes full, rich and impressive. Give it 3-4 years of cellaring and drink it over the following two decades."
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #222, December 2015), 94 pts
Sunset Hills Cabernet Franc is made from Cabernet Franc 80%, Petit Verdot 18%, Merlot 2%
Ripe red cherry, black plum, and hazelnut bring this medium bodied wine to the table. Elegant tannins and subtle toasty notes round out the finish.
The base for the Cabernet Franc is from the Shenandoah Vineyard site, which is typically cooler than the other sites offering bright acidity and red fruit characteristics. Hand picked, chilled, destemmed to bins and tanks for fermentation. Fermentation 6-12 days. 15 years old vines.
The 2013 Cabernet Franc is classically refined, with intense aromas of fresh berries layered with spice and smoke. With substantial weight and a velvety texture, the wine evinces flavors of boysenberry, blueberry, warm spice and pipe tobacco through a long finish. The touch of earth and spice with beautifully balanced acidity make this an exceptional food pairing wine. Delicious now, the wine will continue to improve up to ten years from vintage.
The Annefield Grape Varietals
AWHITE QUARTZ SAPPONY INDIAN arrowhead was found at the site, so we have christened this vineyard Arrowhead. The first three-acre vineyard planting is on Georgeville silt loam, which produces moderate vine vigor.
With our deep, well drained soils, hot summers, and relatively mild winters, the climate and soil in Charlotte County are perfect for grapevines. We are taking advantage of these great conditions and have selected grape varieties that flourish here and produce the best tasting wines. Our vineyard is situated at 500-ft. elevation in an area with excellent air drainage.
Ripening fruit at Annefield Vineyards
Ripening fruit at Annefield.
We are implementing all necessary vineyard practices to optimize the quality of our fruit. These include the use of the Vertical Shoot Positioning system to train the vines, shoot thinning and leaf pulling throughout early summer, two hedgings per season, and fruit thinning on vigorous varieties.
In April 2006, we planted our first three acres. We started with Viognier, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Viognier and Cabernet Franc were grafted onto 3309 Couderc rootstock, and the Cabernet Sauvignon grafted onto Millardet et de Grasset 101-14. Both were selected because they are less vigorous than other rootstocks and grow well in our rich Virginia clay:
Viognier – Viognier is a white grape from the Rhone Valley that makes full-bodied, powerfully perfumed, intensely floral, spicy wines. Its rich and complex aroma is like overripe apricots mixed with orange blossoms. Other descriptors are lime, honeysuckle, jasmine, ginger, and melon. Like Chardonnay, Viognier takes well to oak and to malolactic fermentation.
Cabernet Franc – One of the major red wine grapes of the Bordeaux region, Cabernet Franc is the leaner sibling of Cabernet Sauvignon and often blended with it, not only in France but in Meritage-style New World blends. On its own it is less full-bodied, less tannic and less acidic than Cabernet Sauvignon but it may be more aromatic, fruity, herbal, or vegetal. Cabernet Franc’s primary fruit aromas often suggest raspberry, cherry, strawberry and, especially, plum. It almost always shows a distinctive aroma of violets and a slightly spicy flavor. When it shows vegetal characters, they tend toward bell pepper or stems. With oak treatment, smoke, toast, and tar characters emerge. Extended bottle age promotes earth, mushroom, and cedar aromas.
Cabernet Sauvignon – Cabernet Sauvignon is often called the “king” of red wine grapes. In the great wines of the Medoc region of Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon is always blended (with Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and sometimes Petite Verdot and/or Malbec), while elsewhere in the world it may be blended, or bottled on its own. At its best, Cabernet Sauvignon produces wines of tremendous intensity and depth of flavor. It can be firmly tannic and it usually shows dark purple color, firm acidity, full body, and concentrated flavors. It has an affinity for oak and often spends a year or more in barrel, gaining vanilla, toffee, cedar, and/or coconut flavors. Typical fruit aromas of Cabernet Sauvignon are black currant, blackberry, plum, and black cherry with occasional notes of rhubarb or prune. Herbal notes of pepper, asparagus, green or black olive, mint/menthol/eucalyptus and spice notes of ginger, oregano and anise might be found. The particular appeal of Cabernet Sauvignon, however, lies less in its fruit aromas and more in the subtle flavors that develop with years of bottle aging and the complex interaction between the fruit, tannins, fermentation, alcohol and oak.
In 2011, we will plant three additional varietals: Vermentino, Pinot Grigio and Vidal Blanc, all grafted onto Millardet et de Grasset 101-14.
Vermentino – With its bright acidity, aromas of citrus leaf and mineral, and refreshing finish, this grape will most likely become a favorite at Annefield Vineyards. This late-ripening white grape variety is primarily found in Italian wine, though it is thought to be Spanish in origin. Grown in several countries bordering the Mediterranean, its best known examples come from Northern Italy, particularly in the region of Liguria, and the island of Sardinia, where the wines are crisp, citrusy and generally unoaked. It is also the most widely planted white grape on the island of Corsica, where high altitude and hot climate vineyards produce more full-bodied wines with heady floral aromas. On the French mainland the grape is known as Rolle, where it is found in Côtes de Provence and Languedoc. Vermentino is a vigorous grower, resistant to drought, and usually ripens towards the middle of the harvest cycle. The wine is usually a pale straw color and relatively low in alcohol, with crisp acids, citrus-leaf aromatics, and pronounced minerality. Vermentino shows flavors of green apple and lime, heightened by refreshing acidity, good richness and medium body.
Pinot Grigio – Pinot Grigio, or Pinot Gris, as it is known in France, is a white wine variety that is thought to be a mutant clone of Pinot Noir. We know of it from the Middle Ages in Burgundy, where it was probably called Fromenteau. It spread from Burgundy to Switzerland by 1300. Reportedly the grape was a favorite of Emperor Charles IV, who had cuttings imported to Hungary by Cistercian monks. In Italy, Pinot Grigio is found in Lombardy around Oltrepo Pavese and in Alto Adige, Italy’s northernmost wine region. The grape is also prominent in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region. The grape was popular in Burgundy and Champagne until the 19th century, but poor yields and unreliable crops caused it to fall out of favor in those areas. The same fate nearly occurred in Germany, but vine breeders in the early 20th century were able to develop clones that would produce a more consistent and reliable crop. For our planting we chose two French clones propagated by the Foundation Plant Services at the University of California, Davis; these are intended to complement each another, for one has a mineral, steely quality (Clone 9), and the other is more fruity and complex (Clone 4). A marriage of the two should produce a wine that tastes strongly of stone fruit and citrus with a flinty, mineral edge.
Vidal Blanc – Vidal Blanc has proven to be among the most versatile varietals in North American viticulture. Vidal Blanc is a hybrid bred from the crossing of the over-productive and under flavored Ugni Blanc (known as Trebbiano in Italy) and an older hybrid, Rayon d’Or. Vidal’s high, natural acidity makes it suitable for a wide range of styles, from light and crisp with racy acid, to slightly off-dry, to Ice Wine. The grape is well suited to cold climates, due to its mid-season ripening and its ability to produce good crops from secondary buds in the event of a late spring frost Vidal produces large clusters of thick-skinned berries, and ultimately, wines with fruity floral characteristics, with grapefruit and pineapple notes. The grape’s thick skin allows this varietal to thrive in Virginia.
MUCH OF THE ROCK AND SOIL AT Annefield derives from weathering of the Precambrian rocks that underlie much of the county. Rocks formed during the Precambrian era are between 4.5 billion and 560 million years old. Eons of weathering of these Precambrian rocks have given rise to the Wissahickon schist and gneiss formations, which merge with rocks composed of volcanic material in the area. These complex formations underlie the Georgeville and Herndon loam soil series that is well represented at the farm.
Annefield Vineyards: The first vineyard block is planted in Georgeville series soil.
The first vineyard block is planted in Georgeville series soil.
Although the farm’s soil appears consistent on the surface, there are actually four different classifications of soil on the property:
Georgeville – The Georgeville series consists of deep, well drained soils that have a red clayey layer in the subsoil. These soils are undulating to hilly and are on uplands. They formed in material weathered from metamorphosed sedimentary rock. These soils are strongly acid or very strongly acid subsoil and are low in natural fertility.
Herndon – The Herndon series consists of deep, well drained undulating and rolling soils on uplands. These soils formed in the weathered products of metamorphosed sedimentary and volcanic rocks. These soils have a strongly acid to very strongly acid subsoil and are low in natural fertility.
Annefield Vineyards: Note the mixture of clay and weathered rock in the Cabernet Sauvignon block.
Note the mixture of clay and weathered rock in the Cabernet Sauvignon block. Orange – The Orange series consists of deep, somewhat poorly drained to moderately well drained soils that have a very plastic, clayey layer in the subsoil. These soils are undulating to rolling and are on uplands. They formed in material weathered from greenstone, slate and other fine-grained basic rocks. These soils have a medium acid to neutral subsoil and are low to medium in natural fertility.
Appling – The Appling series consists of deep, well drained soils that have a clayey layer in the subsoil. These are undulating to hilly soils on uplands. They formed in the weathered products of acid igneous and metamorphic rocks. Appling soils have a strongly acid to very strongly acid subsoil and are low in natural fertility.
Our Côtes du Rhône Villages is elaborated on the superb Terroir.
The average age of the vines is 34 years; The assembly favors
Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. This complex wine can be kept 8 to 10 years and we
Verite La Muse is made from 93% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 2% Malbec.
Profound and sophisticated, La Muse delivers the incredible depth and texture with a Merlot-based blend from the top micro-crus of eastern Sonoma County. Like a graceful swan, it embodies elegance, softness and strength.
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 La Muse is composed of 93% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 2% Malbec. Wow—it comes strutting out of the glass with flamboyant crème de cassis, ripe plums and black cherries notes followed by nuances of aniseed, chocolate box, wild thyme, violets and chargrill plus a fragrant suggestion of potpourri. Full-bodied, rich and concentrated, the densely packed perfumed black fruit layers are beautifully framed by perfectly ripe, finely grained tannins and fantastically knit freshness. It finishes long with the most incredible display of mineral sparks. 2,300 cases were produced. -Wine Advocate 100 Points